Pregame report: Mavericks at Pelicans
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Updates from the New Orleans Arena prior to Wednesday’s Southwest Division game between Dallas and New Orleans:
• Monty Williams on how the absence of Anthony Davis for 4-6 weeks will impact his lineups and rotation: “There will be nights when we play small and play (Al-Farouq Aminu) at (power forward). Obviously, we have Lou (Amundson), Jason (Smith) and Ryan (Anderson) to play extended minutes. Jeff (Withey) may get some time, which he deserves, (because) he’s been working hard in practice. But we’ll just have to see.”
• More from Williams on trying to compensate for Davis being sidelined: “AD gives you so much you can’t make up for. Timely blocked shots, his rim runs, his energy – everybody loves him – he gives us juice. It would be a lot tougher if we didn’t have Ryan. That’s the beauty of having a guy on the bench who’s a starter (caliber player). We’ll miss (Davis). It puts a lot more pressure on Jason to play more minutes. I like to keep Jason to 15 to 20 minutes a night. We haven’t been able to do that this year.”
• As you may expect, Williams was pleased with his team’s relentlessness during Monday’s game at Chicago, which totaled 63 minutes after factoring in 15 minutes of overtime. “Guys were playing hard and competing. To continue to compete in a game like that for that amount of time,” Williams said, “it shows the character you have on your team.”
• Dallas Coach Rick Carlisle said that even though Davis is out, New Orleans wins over New York and Chicago have demonstrated that the Pelicans remain a tough opponent. “They’ve managed to win the last two games on the road without him, so they have other people who can step up. They’re a resourceful team, very well-coached. They will miss him, for sure. But they’re extremely dangerous without him.”
• Carlisle said Mavericks point guard Jose Calderon is a game-time decision. Calderon missed Saturday’s game vs. Minnesota, but returned last night in a win over Charlotte.