Pregame report: Clippers at Pelicans
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
News and updates from the Smoothie King Center prior to Monday’s Western Conference game between Los Angeles and New Orleans:
• Tonight marks the second Rivers vs. Rivers matchup of the regular season. Glenn “Doc” Rivers, the father of Pelicans guard Austin, is 1-0 in 2013-14, after dropping the lone meeting in Austin’s rookie year when he coached the Celtics. Doc on the Pelicans: “They’ve had some tough injuries that have hurt their team. That’s the only disappointing thing. I watch (them frequently) because of Austin. I like the way he’s trending. He’s attacking more and not worried about making mistakes.”
• Glen “Big Baby” Davis, an LSU product, was officially signed Sunday by the Clippers, but will not play tonight. Doc Rivers said Davis still need to pass his physical to be cleared to play.
• Pelicans Coach Monty Williams on Anthony Morrow, who has been red-hot lately from the perimeter: “I think there are times when he doesn’t get the ball. There are times when teams key on him. And he’s not the kind of player who can go grab the ball and get his 10 to 18 (points). There are times when I could do a better job of making sure he gets the ball, but I just think it’s circumstances of different games.”
• Williams, when asked what Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin can do to make things difficult for each other in tonight’s marquee individual matchup: “Just show up. They are both so talented. I have gained a new respect for Blake and his ability to work on his game and shut everybody up about him not having a game. He, like with AD, you can see the work they put in.”
• Asked whether Jrue Holiday is closer to returning to the court, Williams said simply, “No.”
• What’s at stake for the Clippers (38-20): Los Angeles is in fourth place in the West, with designs on moving further up the standings, only one game behind third-place Houston and two back of San Antonio. But perhaps just as significantly, the Clippers can’t get too comfortable with their spot atop the Pacific Division. Golden State and Phoenix are 3.0 and 3.5 games behind, respectively.
• What’s at stake for the Pelicans (23-32): New Orleans is trying to get back in the win column for the first time since the All-Star break. The Pelicans leave Tuesday for Dallas, to start a difficult five-game road trip, tied for the longest trek of their 2013-14 season. The Mavericks game is followed by tilts vs. the Suns, Clippers, Kings and Lakers.