Zion Williamson had to work for his new coach. Chris Paul started with a new group of teammates.
And on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) James Harden is expected to do what feels like a little bit of both.
With a preseason shorter than usual before the NBA season on Jan.. As December begins, the teams do not have much time to prepare gradually. Some teams only play two exhibition games before it matters.
Zion Williamson (left), New Orleans Pelicans forward, faces Tyler Herro, Guardian of the Miami Heat, in the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game on December. 14th. 2020 (15. December in Manila) in Miami. AP PHOTO
That’s probably why Williamson was still on the ground attacking the basket during the fourth quarter in Miami. New Orleans comfortably led the heat on its debut under Stan Van Gundy, but the veteran coach kept his young starters on the ground for more than 30 minutes.
« That’s why I play basketball to play long minutes and help my team win, » said Williamson.
Williamson, whose rookie season started late with a knee injury that resulted in his minutes being limited on his return, finished the race with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Brandon Ingram, last season’s most improved player, had 22 points, six rebounds and six assists.
Paul prevailed against Phoenix ‘opener in the preseason but was on the starting line-up for his loss in Utah and ended with five points and six assists in 18 minutes. The veteran point guard is another reason for optimism about the suns after remaining undefeated in the Walt Disney World bubble.
There were six games on Monday (Tuesday in Manila), including Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who competed again in Milwaukee, although the biggest news may have been practice. Harden took the floor for the Rockets after joining the team late after reports that he would like to be traded.
Trainer Stephen Silas said Harden is expected to play San Antonio on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila). The NBA’s top scorer hasn’t spoken to reporters yet, so there is curiosity across the league as to whether he wants to get out of an organization in Houston that has a new coach and backmate for him after replacing Russell Westbrook with John Wall has numerous changes.
Meanwhile, Lonzo Ball had 12 points and six assists for the Pelicans in Miami, where they will play on Christmas Day. Josh Hart added 11 points.
The Heat got Jimmy Butler rested in her first game since losing to the Lakers in the NBA Finals. Tyler Herro scored 17 points for Miami and Duncan Robinson added 14.
In Salt Lake City, Bojan Bogdanovic scored 18 points for Utah and Rudy Gobert had 11 points and 20 rebounds.
Mike Conley scored 16 points for the Jazz and Donovan Mitchell had 15 points and six rebounds.
Devin Booker scored 27 points for Phoenix. Deandre Ayton only made seven shots and scored 4 points.
James Harden, Houston Rockets, Chris Paul, New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson, NBA, Milwaukee Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo
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