Pelicans’ McCollum undergoes surgery for thumb injury

The New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum underwent successful surgery yesterday to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his right thumb, the team announced Wednesday.

Additionally, according to the Pelicans, McCollum will not require surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder; McCollum will undergo an offseason rehabilitation program focused on shoulder stabilization and strengthening.

McCollum, 31, is expected to make a full recovery for both injuries prior to the start of training camp.

Last season, the nine-year veteran averaged 20.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 5.7 rebounds per game.

Pelicans give medical update on Zion Williamson

The New Orleans Pelicans will not have Zion Williamson for the Play-In Tournament, and if they advance, possibly in the playoffs.

Pelicans Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations David Griffin announced the following update on forward Zion Williamson:

“After further evaluation, it has been determined that Zion Williamson will continue his rehabilitation and conditioning regimen. We will continue to monitor his progression, and updates will be provided as warranted.”

Williamson, 22, has missed the last 43 games after he suffered a right hamstring strain on January 2 in Philadelphia against the 76ers.

In 29 games, he holds season averages of 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per contest.

Currently, the Pelicans(41-39) are the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

The Great, Not So Great, & Bottom Line of Cavs’ win over Pelicans

Cleveland returned home on Monday night to face the New Orleans Pelicans after a 2-3 west coast road trip.

The Cavs(28-17), who got off to a slow start, trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half. However, Cleveland finally woke up in the second half and defeated the Pelicans(26-18) 113-103 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

Donovan Mitchell left in the third quarter with a groin injury and did not return.

Here’s the Great, Not So Great, and the Bottom Line of the Cavs’ win over the Pelicans.


Darius Garland scored 25 of his game-high 30 points in the second half. In addition, he added 11 assists. Garland got off to a slow start, but he was big in the second half, especially the fourth, where he scored 14 points.

Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley: Allen(9/12) had a season-high tying 24 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists, while Mobley(8/10) had 19 points and eight rebounds. The two were a combined 17/22 from the field, and Allen was big in the fourth as he had 12 points.

Fourth Quarter: The Cavs played their best ball in the final stanza. Garland and Allen combined for 26 of the team’s 35 points in the quarter. From the end of the third into the fourth, Cleveland went on a 15-0 run and never relinquished the lead.

The Cavs outscored the Pelicans 35-22 in the fourth. 

Not So Great:

Cleveland’s turnovers were high(15), and the first half wasn’t the best, but they still got the job done.

Bottom Line:

Cleveland got off to a slow start; maybe it was because it was an afternoon game, but credit them for bouncing back in the second half as they continue to be dominant at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mitchell did leave with a groin injury, and hopefully, that’s nothing serious.

What’s Next:

Cleveland travels to Memphis to battle the Grizzlies on Wednesday night. 

Best of the Rest:

-C.J. McCollum led the Pelicans with 25 points; Jonas Valanciunas had 22 points and 13 rebounds.

-Donovan Mitchell and Isaac Okoro had 11 points apiece.

-Cleveland is now 19-4 at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

-According to Cavs Notes, this was Cleveland’s 11th win this season after trailing by at least 10 points.

Embiid, Williamson named NBA Players of the Week

Pelicans forward Zion Williamson and 76ers center Joel Embiid were named Western and Eastern Players of the Week for games played December 5-11, the league announced Monday.

Embiid tallied at least 35 points in all three contests throughout the week, extending his streak to an NBA-best four straight games.

In three games played, including a pair of home victories against the Lakers (Dec. 9) and Hornets (Dec. 11), Embiid produced a league-best 43.3 points on .639 shooting, 10.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.0 blocks. He became the 10th player in league history to average 43.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, and a shooting mark of at least 60-percent over a three-game span.

Embiid capped off his week with a 53-point, 12-rebound performance against Charlotte, making him the only player in the NBA this season with multiple games of 50-plus point.

The only 76er with more Eastern Conference Player of the Week Awards than Embiid is Hall of Famer Allen Iverson, who captured the honor 20 times during his time with Philadelphia.

Back to Williamson, he led New Orleans to a 3-0 week, recording averages of 33.0 points (second among Western Conference players), 8.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 37.3 minutes per contest, while shooting 70.4 percent from the field (first in the NBA among players that registered 13.0 or more field goal attempts per game). Williamson finished the week as one of two players in the West to average at least 30 points per game and the only Western Conference player to average at least 30 points and eight rebounds. Williamson also averaged an NBA-best 24.0 points in the paint per game during this stretch.

Williamson’s Player of the Week honor is the first of his career.

Currently, New Orleans(18-8) has the best record in the Western Conference.


Pels’ Ingram suffers concussion against Jazz

The New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram sustained a concussion against the Jazz on Sunday, the team announced Monday. 

Ingram has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol.

The injury occurred during the first quarter when Ingram’s teammate Naji Marshall inadvertently hit Ingram in the face after the two went for the ball.

Per the NBA’s Concussion Policy, Ingram must go through the return-to-participation process, which can begin no earlier than 24 hours from the time of injury. The return-to-participation process includes a series of steps designed to ensure an athlete exhibits symptom-free behavior before resuming full basketball activities. There is no timeframe to complete the process, as each injury and player is different, and recovery time can vary in each case.

New Orleans, who also lost Zion Williamson(hip) in Sunday’s loss to Utah, returns to action Tuesday night at home against the Mavericks.

Pelicans’ Liddell out indefinitely with torn ACL

The New Orleans Pelicans forward E.J. Liddell will be out indefinitely after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee, the team announced Tuesday.

According to the team, an MRI done Monday night confirmed the injury. A date for surgery has not yet been determined, and further updates will be provided appropriately.

The injury occurred during the third quarter of Monday’s Summer League game against the Atlanta Hawks. 

New Orleans selected Liddell with the 41st overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

The 6-7 Liddell is coming off a junior campaign at The Ohio State University in which he averaged 19.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.5 blocks per game en route to consensus third-team All-American first team All-Big Ten, and Big Ten All-Defensive honors. Liddell led the Buckeyes in scoring, rebounding, blocks, free throws made and attempted, and was second in assists.

Great news for Zion Williamson, Pelicans

On Thursday, the New Orleans Pelicans announced that recent imaging of Zion Williamson’s right fifth metatarsal showed continued improvement. Williamson has been cleared in his return to play progression without any restrictions.

It’s been a long road for Williamson. The third-year forward did not play a game this season after recovering from foot surgery in the offseason.

In November, Williamson was cleared to participate in contact drills, beginning with 1-on-1 workouts and progressively working towards full-team workouts.

However, a month later, Williamson had a setback as he needed a biologic injection into the fracture site to stimulate bone healing in his right foot.

In January, the team announced that Williamson would be continuing his rehab away from the team.

New Orleans had a successful season as they made the playoffs and pushed the Suns to six games in their first-round series.

Williamson is eligible for a max extension, which he said he would be interested in signing. However, he’s played only 85 games in three seasons, so it should be interesting to see what happens next.

Suns’ Paul on win over Pelicans: ‘We knew it was going to be by committee’

If he did it before, he could do it again, and the “Point God” continued his fourth-quarter greatness in the Suns’ first-round series against the Pelicans.

As he did in Game 1, Paul scored 19 points of his 28 points in the fourth quarter as the Suns, who were without Devin Booker(hamstring), defeated the Pelicans 114-111 at Smoothie King Center to take a 2-1 series lead.

Paul finished with 28 points, four rebounds, 14 assists, and zero turnovers. Deandre Ayton added a career-high 28 points to go along with 17 rebounds. Ayton scored 28 points in three quarters, but he was scoreless in the fourth.

However, Paul brought it home.

“DA kept us in this game in order to bring it home down the stretch,” Paul said after the win.

In Game 1, Paul had 19 of his 30 points in the fourth. They needed his greatness in Game 1, and without Booker, they needed it even more in Game 3.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Paul is the second player to score 19-plus points in the fourth quarter twice in a single series over the last 25 postseasons. In addition, according to Stathead, Paul became the first player since 1984 to have 28-plus points and 14-plus assists without a turnover.

“He(Paul) reads a play, and the defense will switch, and he’s always analyzing,” JaVale McGee, who also came up big and added 15 points, said. “He’s listening to calls that other players are calling.”

Phoenix had five players in double figures, so they won it as a team.

“We knew it was going to be by committee,” Paul said. “When you come into this arena, we knew it would be tough, but everybody just pitched in tonight.”

At this point, according to reports, Booker could be out 2-3 weeks, so Phoenix needs to get by the Pelicans as soon as possible, but as Paul said, the Suns have to do it by committee. 

Game 4 is Sunday night in New Orleans.

Pelicans give update on Zion Williamson

The New Orleans Pelicans got some decent news about Zion Williamson.

Recent imaging showed improved bone healing of the fifth metatarsal in Zion Williamson’s right foot. He will gradually progress to full weight-bearing exercise and basketball activities, the team announced Wednesday.

According to the Pelicans, Williamson remains out indefinitely.

The third-year forward has not played a game this season after recovering from foot surgery in the offseason.

In January, the team announced that Williamson would be continuing his rehab away from the team.

In November, Williamson was cleared to participate in contact drills, beginning with 1-on-1 workouts and progressively working towards full-team workouts. However, a month later, Williamson had a setback as he needed a biologic injection into the fracture site to stimulate bone healing in his right foot.

New Orleans(25-36) is currently the 10th-seed in the West and would be in the play-in tournament if the season ended today.

Pelicans acquire CJ McCollum from Blazers in a seven-player deal

The NBA trade season is upon us, and on Wednesday, the Pelicans and Blazers made a big deal. Portland sent CJ McCollum, Larry Nance Jr., and Tony Snell to New Orleans for Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Josh Hart, Didi Louzada, Tomáš Satoranský, a protected 2022 first-round draft pick, and two future second-round draft picks.

The 30-year-old McCollum, who is the deal’s centerpiece, has appeared in 36 games for Portland this season, averaging 20.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 4.5 assists. With the addition of McCollum, the Pelicans are looking to form a solid trio with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. 

Portland has been busy in the last couple of weeks as they traded Norman Powell and Robert Covington in exchange for Eric Bledsoe, Justise Winslow, Keon Johnson, and the Pistons 2025 second-round pick.

For the Blazers, it appears that a retooling is going on. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Blazers will have around $60 million in cap space this summer to build a better roster around six-time All-Star Damian Lillard. Plus, Portland got some decent draft assets in this deal, which could improve the talent on this roster. 

Besides McCollum, the Pelicans added the following:

Nance Jr., 29, has appeared in 37 games (11 starts) for Portland this season, averaging 6.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.0 assists in 23.2 minutes per game. 

This season, Snell, 30, has appeared in 38 games (10 starts) for Portland, averaging 2.6 points and 1.9 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game.

For the Blazers, they added the following:

Alexander-Walker, 23, has appeared in 50 games (19 starts) for the Pelicans this season, averaging 12.8 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 26.3 minutes per game. 

The 29-year-old Hart appeared in 41 games (40 starts) for New Orleans this season, averaging 13.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 33.5 minutes per game.

Louzada, 22, appeared in five games off the bench for the Pelicans over the last two seasons, averaging 1.6 points and 1.0 rebounds in 12.6 minutes per game.

The 30-year-old Satoranský is averaging 2.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 2.4 assists.

The NBA trade deadline is February 10 at 3 P.M.