The inclement weather that grounded the Pistons in Dallas and forced a postponement of Wednesday’s Pistons/Wizards game is also wreaking havoc on the Pelicans, who are scheduled to play in Dallas on Thursday.
After facing the Nuggets in Denver on Tuesday, the Pelicans have been unable to fly into Dallas on Wednesday and now intend to stay another night in Denver, according to Christian Clark of NOLA.com (Twitter link). A source tells Clark that the Pels’ plan is to fly into Dallas on Thursday in advance of the evening game vs. the Mavericks.
According to Marc Stein (Twitter link), the Pelicans – who practiced in Denver on Wednesday – had been considering a handful of options to get to Dallas, including a “less-than-inviting” scenario that would have seen them fly into Oklahoma City today and then take a bus the rest of the way. Flying on Thursday is the best-case scenario of those options, Stein adds (via Twitter).
Here’s more on the Pelicans:
- After being limited to stationary shooting and dribbling, Zion Williamson was cleared on Tuesday to begin running as part of his rehab from a right hamstring strain, Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report said on TNT’s Tuesday night broadcast (Twitter video link). The Pelicans plan to reevaluate Williamson next Tuesday, but don’t want to set a timeline yet for his return to action.
- It was a brutal month for the Pelicans, who were a half-game behind Denver for the Western Conference’s top seed when January began and now find themselves holding the last play-in spot after losing 13 of 16 games, Clark writes for NOLA.com. The team has been without star forwards Williamson and Brandon Ingram for extended periods this winter, but doesn’t want to use that as an excuse. “No one feels sorry for us,” Larry Nance Jr. said. “That’s the reality of it. No Z, no B for an extended period of time. Threw off our rhythm a little bit. It’s hard to pick back up. After being first in the West, we have a target on our back. This schedule has been pretty unforgiving. We have to throw the first punch.”
- Pelicans wing Trey Murphy confirmed that he has accepted an invitation to participate in this year’s Slam Dunk Contest in Salt Lake City and tells William Guillory of The Athletic that he’s looking forward to trying to make his mark on the event. “I’m pretty excited. There are definitely some high flyers I’m going against,” Murphy said of reported participants Kenyon Martin Jr., Shaedon Sharpe, and Mac McClung. “I know those guys are going to come with some great dunks. I’ve seen some of the dunks they’ve done in the past. That just makes me want to come in and do even better.”