Austin Rivers will return to action vs. Utah
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
The New Orleans Pelicans still managed to win Wednesday against the Los Angeles Clippers, despite only having nine players available. As they seek their fifth consecutive victory overall Friday vs. Utah, the Pelicans should at least have one more body in uniform.
Second-year guard Austin Rivers said at this morning’s shootaround that he is back to 100 percent after sitting out Wednesday’s game due to an upper respiratory infection. Rivers joined Brian Roberts and Eric Gordon on the list of New Orleans backcourt players who couldn’t play vs. the Clippers. Roberts (left knee bone bruise) and Gordon (left knee tendinitis) are both listed as day-to-day for tonight’s game. Their status will likely be updated by Pelicans Coach Monty Williams during his pregame meeting with the media at around 5:15 p.m.
“I got some good rest the past couple days, so I’m good now,” Rivers said. “I don’t know if it’s (an illness that is) going around (the team), but I just wasn’t really feeling the best at all. I feel back to normal now. I’m fine. I got a good workout yesterday and today we had a pretty tough shootaround, so I was able to get a good wind.”
The Pelicans (31-40), who are on a season-long four-game winning streak, have split two games with the Jazz this season, though both took place way back in November.
“Their bigs,” Rivers said of one key against the Jazz on defense. “(Derrick) Favors and their frontcourt has always been the reason they’ve been able to win games. Trey (Burke) is a great guard as well, who has been playing very well this year. We have to control Trey Burke off the pick-and-rolls, and we definitely have to rebound and help our bigs out tonight. Favors and (Enes) Kanter, they have some big bodies down there who like to rebound.”