NBA News: Brandon Ingram And Jonas Valanciunas Nearing Return, Kyrie Irving To Debut Wednesday And More

NBA News: Brandon Ingram And Jonas Valanciunas Nearing Return, Kyrie Irving To Debut Wednesday And More

The surging New Orleans Pelicans are close to getting back some much-needed reinforcements with Brandon Ingram set to make a return from his injury soon

On Sunday, the Pelicans announced that forward Brandon Ingram and veteran center Jonas Valanciunas would be questionable for Monday’s home game against the Utah Jazz.

Brandon Ingram Nearing Return After Injury

Ingram is dealing with an Achilles injury, and he missed the team’s Dec. 28 and Jan. 1 outings against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks, respectively. The 24-year-old is having another stellar season, averaging 22.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game.

Valanciunas was removed from COVID-19 protocols and is now eligible to return after missing three of the team’s last four outings. The 29-year-old, in the midst of his first season with the Pelicans, has averaged 18.5 points, 12 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

New Orleans closed out December by winning five of their final six games. With Ingram and Valanciunas on the verge of returning, the Pelicans are about to receive important help as they try to sneak their way into play-in territory.

Pelicans fans interested in betting can check out the best sportsbooks available on Louisiana online.

Kyrie Irving Likely To Make Season Debut Wednesday

The Brooklyn Nets are once again among the top teams in the NBA, and the championship-hopeful group is about to get a major boost.

On Monday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Brooklyn is “preparing for Kyrie Irving to make his NBA season debut Wednesday” in the team’s road game against the Indiana Pacers (7:30 p.m. EST).

Irving is unvaccinated and thus ineligible to play home games (and road games against the New York Knicks) because of New York’s vaccine mandates. Earlier this year, the Nets said they wouldn’t allow Irving to be a part-time player.

But with injuries mounting, the Nets ultimately decided to make the seven-time All-Star eligible for road games. Last season, the 29-year-old averaged 26.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and six assists per game.

Without Irving, the Nets have managed to stay near the top of the league standings thanks to the efforts of superstars Kevin Durant (a strong MVP candidate) and James Harden. Still, Irving’s looming return can only help the Nets.

The Nets, Chicago Bulls and defending NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks are in a tight three-way race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Irving’s return can only help a Brooklyn team that is in championship-or-bust mode.


Warriors’ Klay Thompson Could Return Sunday

It’s been almost three years since Klay Thompson last played an NBA game.

But the future Hall of Famer is oh-so-close to getting back on the court.

Wojnarowski reported Monday that “there’s optimism” about Thompson making his season debut against the Cavaliers on Sunday (8:30 p.m. EST).

Wojnarowski added that the “final decision” will likely be made after the team finishes its mini two-game road trip. The final stop will see Golden State take on New Orleans this Thursday (8:00 p.m. EST).

Thompson suffered an ACL tear during Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Toronto Raptors. Golden State lost what turned out to be the series-clinching game by a final score of 114-110.

The ACL tear sidelined Thompson for the entirety of the 2019-20 campaign. In November 2020, Thompson unfortunately suffered a torn right Achilles tendon less than two months before the start of the 2020-21 regular season.


After reaching five straight NBA Finals from 2015 to 2019, Warriors missed the postseason in each of the following two years without the superstar scorer.

But entering the week, Golden State had the NBA’s best record at 28-7. They’re neck-and-neck with the Phoenix Suns for the league’s best record.

Behind the strong play of Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, Golden State looks like the team to beat once again. Bringing back Thompson, one of the NBA’s most dynamic players of his era, is only going to bolster the Warriors’ bid for a fourth championship in the “Splash Brothers” era.

A five-time All-Star, the 31-year-old Thompson recorded more than 20 points per game in each of his last five seasons. In 2018-19, he averaged 21.5 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game.

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Gautam Kapoor

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