Forward/center Pascal Siakam took part in the non-contact portion of practice for the second straight day, with the Raptors hoping for a return of mid-to-late next week, per Michael Grange of SportsNet.
Siakam is averaging a career-high 24.8 points, but has missed all but nine games with an adductor strain.
“We certainly needed to survive here and Pascal was out there today in practice,” coach Nick Nurse said, via Doug Smith of the Toronto Star. “Well, not a whole lot of people in contact (practices) these days when the numbers are what they are, so he was out there moving around. So we shouldn’t be awfully far away from him being back.”
- Meanwhile, forward/center Precious Achiuwa does not appear any closer to returning after suffering an ankle injury on Nov. 9, per Eric Koreen of The Athletic. Both shooting guard Gary Trent Jr. and forward Chris Boucher have returned to practice after being sick, Koreen added.
Center Robert Williams III is taking part in 3-on-3 drills, with the Celtics hoping his season debut isn’t far off.
“We’re happy with him as far as his progression and the work he’s put in toward coming back,” coach Joe Mazzulla said, via Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe. “He’s picking it up on the court a little bit. … He looks good. He’s healthy and responding well to it. He’s in a good space as far as patience, and he’s doing the work he needs to do.”
- Boston had its nine-game win streak snapped with a road loss to the Bulls on Monday, but as Himmelsbach noted, the Celtics’ strong start has taken place entirely without Williams. (Or suspended coach Ime Udoka, for that matter.)
- You can check out our most recent update on Udoka right here. Basically, it appears that Muzzalla will be named full-time head coach after the season, as we relayed here.
- Center Nick Richards is glad to be getting an opportunity, but would like to see the Hornets start having more success as a team, he told Spencer Davies of Basketball News. “I’m contributing to my team in a positive way,” Richards said, via Davies. “But honestly, we should be able to get more wins under our belts.”
- Coach Steve Clifford indicated the team needs to start fighting through some adversity, per Rod Boone of the Charlotte Observer. “The biggest thing is we’ve got to play tougher, OK?” Clifford said, via Boone.
- Point guard LaMelo Ball, who re-aggravated an ankle injury last week after stepping on a fan’s foot, is progressing slowly toward another return. “He did a little bit today,” Clifford said, via Boone. “So this is the most he’s been able to do and obviously he wants to get back. He’s been great with his rehab and everything like that.” Ball missed the first 13 games of the season before returning for two.