NBA

D'Antoni Confident Beverley Will Return Thursday



After missing all of last season and the first half of this one, it’s been announced that Quincy Pondexter has undergone yet another knee surgery that will keep him out of Pelicans action for the remainder of 2016/17. The procedure was the veteran’s third since he last suited up in a game back during the 2015 postseason, writes Kurt Helin of NBC Sports.

In his last taste of NBA action, his first season with New Orleans, Pondexter averaged 7.2 points in 23.9 minutes on the perimeter. Ever since, the Pelicans have struggled to restock the perimeter with reliably healthy players.

Expect continued opportunities for Pelicans rookie Buddy Hield and free agent acquisition Solomon Hill in Pondexter’s continued absence. The news also ensures that minutes will remain open for Tyreke Evans as his usage ramps up after his own setbacks.

That’s not all out of the Southwest Division:

  • Rookie Cheick Diallo made waves when he dropped 19 points and 10 rebounds in his first significant taste of NBA action, and the Pelicans aim to keep him with the big league club as often as they can for the remainder of the season. ESPN’s Justin Verrier reports that the team would like to be “hands on” with the player’s weight training regimen.
  • It was no secret that Harrison Barnes would see plenty of opportunities to score with the Mavs, but it’s been his evolution as a playmaker that has stood out to teammates in Dallas. “He’s starting to see other guys [out of double teams] and get shots for open guys,” guard Devin Harris tells Eddie Sefko of Dallas News. “[That] takes his game to another level.”
  • After missing three of the last four games, Patrick Beverley is expected to return to the lineup for the Rockets. According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle, Mike D’Antoni is confident that his defensive stopper will be ready in time for Thursday’s run-in with the Thunder.



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