The Pelican Blog

Eric Gordon expects to play in some preseason games

New Orleans Pelicans shooting guard Eric Gordon practiced fully Monday and said that he is looking forward to playing in some preseason games and expects to have his best season in New Orleans.

"I did a lot of up-and-down," Gordon said. "It's good to get back into the full swing of things now. ... I'm looking forward to upcoming practices and games."

The Pelicans are 4-0 this preseason with four exhibition games remaining. The team's next game is Thursday in Tulsa, Okla., against the Oklahoma City Thunder followed by a game Saturday against the Washington Wizards in Lexington, Ky.

Gordon, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound guard from Indiana, is entering his third season with the Pelicans after being obtained from the Los Angeles Clippers as part of the Chris Paul trade. He has struggled to stay healthy since joining New Orleans' roster. He appeared in nine games during the 2011-12 seasons and 42 games in 2012-13. He had athroscopic ankle  surgery in May.

"I'm definitely going to be a better player this year than in previous years," said Gordon, who is averaging almost 18 points a game for his career.

The Pelicans have played the past two preseason games without swingman Tyreke Evans, the team's top free-agent pickup this offseason. Evans, a 6-foot-6, 220-pounder from Memphis, hurt his ankle in the win over Dallas on Oct. 7. Neither Evans or forward-center Jason Smith practiced Monday. Smith is dealing with "some issues with his quad/hip," Pelicans Coach Monty Williams said Monday. Williams said ideally he'd like to have his full roster available to play in the sixth and seventh games of preseason. "But that's a pipe dream," he said. " I deal in the reality of the injuries and minutes."

The Pelicans are scheduled to practice Tuesday and Wednesday before leaving on their two-game road trip.