Anthony Davis to miss 4-6 weeks with fractured hand
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Though no injury is exactly the same, most readily-available medical information describes a non-displaced fracture of a metacarpal bone in the hand as requiring 4-6 weeks of recovery. So it probably shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise Tuesday afternoon when the New Orleans Pelicans announced that Anthony Davis will be sidelined for that period of time, extending into late December or January. The second-year power forward sustained the injury to the fifth metacarpal of his left hand early in Sunday’s victory at New York.
Based on that timetable and the Pelicans’ upcoming schedule, Davis would therefore miss at least the next 12 games, or as many as 20. Four weeks from today is New Year’s Eve, while the six-week timeframe ends Jan. 14. Although many NBA analysts projected imminent disaster for the Pelicans (9-8 overall, on three-game winning streak) without their rising 20-year-old star, the early signs have been encouraging. New Orleans played three-plus quarters without Davis on Sunday at Madison Square Garden and still prevailed 103-99, coming back from an early deficit vs. the Knicks. On Monday, in another one of the NBA’s historically difficult venues for a visitor, New Orleans posted an exhausting 131-128, triple-overtime victory at Chicago’s United Center.
Ryan Anderson spearheaded the Pelicans over the two games following Davis’ departure Sunday, tallying a total of 67 points and 14 three-pointers. Both of those statistics are the best two-game outputs of Anderson’s six-year NBA career. Anderson notched a career-best 36 points in the three-OT win at Chicago and drilled seven treys in each game, one shy of his single-game NBA individual best (he made eight threes at Phoenix early last season).
On paper – which realistically has meant little so far in what’s been a highly unpredictable NBA season – the upcoming schedule does the Davis-less Pelicans few favors. Over the next dozen games, New Orleans is matched up against the far superior Western Conference 11 times, with the lone exception being a Dec. 11 home game vs. Detroit. Over that 12-game stretch, there is a five-game, pre-Christmas Western road trip and two games apiece vs. hot-starting Portland and Denver. Just two opponents – the Pistons and Sacramento Kings – currently sport losing records. Extending further into early January, the Pelicans have road dates vs. the East’s top two teams, Indiana and Miami, as well as a Jan. 13 home tilt against defending Western Conference champion San Antonio.