Five things to know about the Pelicans on Dec. 23
1) It’s a Monday gameday in Sacramento for New Orleans (11-14), which needs a victory against the Kings to avoid a winless five-game West road trip. Tip-off between the Pelicans and Kings will be at 9 p.m. Central, with live coverage by the Pelicans Radio Network. The game is also scheduled to be broadcast nationally by NBA TV.
2) Monday’s game marks the first time that Pelicans reserve wing Tyreke Evans will play against his former team. Evans was the NBA’s Rookie of the Year with the Kings in 2009-10.
3) After signing with New Orleans on Friday, 7-foot-2 Alexis Ajinca was excellent in his Pelicans debut vs. the Trail Blazers 24 hours later.
4) Saturday’s 110-107 loss at Portland was a heartbreaking one, but players and coaches were encouraged by a much improved performance overall against the Trail Blazers.
5) Jason Smith missed Saturday’s game due to a right knee bone bruise, his first DNP of the regular season. His status is day-to-day. The Pelicans will hold shootaround in Sacramento today at 11 a.m. Pacific (1 p.m. Central). In Smith’s absence, New Orleans shifted Anthony Davis to starting center for the first time in 2013-14.