Eric Gordon, Brian Roberts, Austin Rivers out vs. L.A.
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
News and updates from the Smoothie King Center prior to Wednesday’s Western Conference game between the Los Angeles Clippers and New Orleans:
• A season filled with injuries somehow reached uncharted territory when it was determined that guards Eric Gordon (knee), Brian Roberts (knee) and Austin Rivers (respiratory infection) all will miss tonight’s game against the Clippers due to their ailments. As a result, New Orleans will only have nine players available, the fewest the Pelicans have entered a game this season.
• Williams on Roberts: “He was pretty sore yesterday. We don’t want to rush him. He has a bone bruise, so that could take a day or two. We don’t know. He also has a bit of a calf strain.”
• Williams on Rivers: “Austin tried to go out there and do his pregame warmup, but couldn’t do it. So we’re going to keep him out tonight.”
• The Pelicans' starting lineup will be Tyreke Evans and Anthony Morrow in the backcourt, Al-Farouq Aminu and Anthony Davis at forward and Greg Stiemsma at center.
• For the Clippers, J.J. Redick is out with a bulging disc in his lower back.
• Davis on facing Clippers All-Star Blake Griffin: “He’s strong, can finish around the basket and plays like a guard. It’s different than some of the guys I go against. That’s why we have team defense. We have to load up against him and make him take tough shots.”
• Davis on the play of Evans: “He has been very aggressive. Anybody can’t really stop him from getting to the basket. So, when he gets there to the basket so easily, everybody converges on him and he does a great job of finding shooters and the bigs, spacing out to make plays. You’ve got to respect him.”
• What’s at stake for the Clippers (51-20): Winners of nine of their last 10 games, the Clippers are within striking distance of the No. 2 seed in the West, just two back of Oklahoma City. However, Los Angeles is also only 1.5 games ahead of Houston in a very tight West playoff race. This is the first game of a five-game road trip for L.A.
• What’s at stake for the Pelicans (30-40): New Orleans is seeking its fourth straight victory, as well as what would be a third consecutive ultra-impressive win. Since Saturday, the Pelicans have beaten two-time defending NBA champion Miami and Brooklyn, one of the league’s hottest teams since Jan. 1.