Pregame report: Blazers at Pelicans
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
News and updates from the New Orleans Arena prior to Monday’s Western Conference game between Portland and New Orleans:
• UPDATE: Eric Gordon (right hip contusion) and Jason Smith (left shoulder) have been placed on the inactive list for Monday's game and will not play. The Pelicans' other 13 players are active and available to play.
• After missing the past six-plus weeks of action due to a left knee sprain on Nov. 12, Greg Stiemsma returns from injury tonight. Williams said Stiemsma wanted to play in Saturday’s game at Houston, but Williams decided to hold out the 6-foot-11 backup center. “He certainly won’t play heavy minutes (tonight)," Williams said, "but I’ll just watch him (to monitor his condition).”
• If Gordon is unable to play, it’s uncertain who will start at shooting guard for the Pelicans. Anthony Morrow and Brian Roberts have rotated starting the past two games. Williams noted that some of the decision is based on matchups – in Houston, Jrue Holiday was able to match up against Rockets shooting guard James Harden and limited Harden for much of Saturday’s game. Williams prefers to bring Tyreke Evans off the bench for New Orleans (13-15), particularly with Ryan Anderson having moved into a starting role.
• Williams on comparisons between Anthony Davis and Portland star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge: “When we drafted Anthony, that’s who I told him to be like. They have some similarities. LA strokes (his jump shot) a little bit better than AD right now, but I think that will come in time. People forget where LaMarcus was his first couple years in the league – he was just like AD, up and down, paranoid about everything, and really wanting to be good. You look at him now, (Aldridge) is maybe the best power forward in the game.”