Denver Nuggets Lawson celebrates a three-point shot against Golden State Warriors in their NBA Western Conference quarter-final basketball playoff in Denver

Nuggets’ Ty Lawson, Pelicans’ Eric Gordon likely shut down for season

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At this point in the season, if you have a slightly banged up star on a team not headed for the playoffs, what’s the point? Why play him?

With that in mind we bring you these two bits of news: Denver’s Ty Lawson and New Orleans’ Eric Gordon appear to be done for the year. That according to a couple of reports.

In the case of Lawson, the key to the Nuggets’ offense but who has been battling a sprained ankle, coach Brian Shaw wouldn’t say he was officially done. But read between the lines of his comments to the Denver Post.

“Just to rehab his ankle and get healthy, as healthy as possible. If he can come back and he feels strong enough to come back and it’s not going to do any further damage, then I want him to come back. But if he can’t, it’s really not a big deal. I think the most important thing is his health going forward.”

He’s done for the year.

Pelicans’ coach Monty Williams was more direct in talking about Gordon, who has left knee tendonitis. Williams was quoted on the Pelicans’ Web site.

“I doubt that he’ll play anymore this year, but that’s just (my opinion),” Pelicans Coach Monty Williams said of the sixth-year NBA veteran. “He’s getting evaluations on his knee.”

Expect to see more of this on a variety of teams as the season winds down. What’s the point of pushing it with injured players if you’re lottery bound?

Somebody looks comfortable: Paul George drops 20 in first quarter

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Paul George‘s first experience starting as a power forward was going up against Anthony Davis — not just one of the best power forwards in the game, one of the handful of best players in the game period. That didn’t go well for George, and he wasn’t happy about it.

His second experience was in another preseason game Tuesday, going up against the Pistons and their four, Ersan İlyasova. He’s not quite as intimidating.

George scored 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting, 4-of-5 on threes — and that was just the first quarter (you can see it all in the video above).

As we have said before, George at the four is not a bad call by the Pacers, but some of that depends on the matchup. On the nights the Pacers face Davis or Blake Griffin or LaMarcus Aldridge or Zach Randolph (or a handful of others) the Pacers’ coaching staff is going to have to adjust. But there are a lot of nights where George at the four is going to force the other team to adjust, and that will play into the Pacers’ hands.

Is DeMarcus Cousins MVP worthy? “It’s mine to grab”

DeMarcus Cousins

Last season, DeMarcus Cousins received zero MVP votes (the same as every year of his career). Even though he averaged 24.1 points, and 12.7 rebounds a game, which was enough to get him his first All-Star berth, MVP is another thing entirely. Only players on winning teams tend to draw the attention of MVP voters.

This season, can Cousins — arguably the best center in the game — get in the conversation?

He thinks it’s more than just that, he told Kevin Ding at Bleacher Report.

The topic is the 2015-16 NBA MVP award and whether it could be reachable for DeMarcus Cousins.

“Reachable, man?” Cousins told Bleacher Report, his voice rising high. “It’s mine to grab.”

As noted above, the only way Cousins gets into the conversation — fair or not — is if the Kings are in the playoffs (at the very least). He understands that.

“It’s going to take a full team effort,” Cousins said. “I’ll try to play at a high level and bring my team along with me.”

Vlade Divac built a Kings’ team designed to start winning now — as you would expect from a team a year away from moving into a new arena they need to fill. Owner Vivek Ranadive is not about selling hope anymore, he wants to sell wins.

I think Cousins can help provide that.

I’m less sold on the cast around him being able to help.