The Pelican Blog

Pregame report: Pacers at Pelicans

By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer

Updates from the Crescent City prior to Wednesday's Opening Night game between Indiana and New Orleans: 

• The unfortunate headline late this afternoon is that New Orleans power forward Ryan Anderson is expected to be out for one to three weeks with a chip fracture in the second toe of his right foot. The Pelicans will have to compensate for being without one of the NBA’s premier three-point shooters early in the season. Monty Williams: “He complained about some discomfort in (Monday’s) practice.” The injury will significantly alter the team’s rotation and bench. “Obviously he’s a big part of what we do,” Williams said. “We’ll make our adjustments. Hopefully he’ll be back sooner rather than later.”

• Williams confirmed that Jason Smith will start at center vs. the Pacers, after receiving the nod in the final game of preseason at Orlando. Williams on Smith: “I feel like he gives us some energy in that starting lineup, some shooting and can space the floor.” Williams indicated that Greg Stiemsma will be part of the mix off the bench. “Greg will play a big role,” the fourth-year coach said. “I liked him the last couple practices and games, because he knows how to play, and has been a bit of an anchor for that second unit.”

• The Pelicans certainly were hopeful that this would not come into play in this fashion, but the team’s improved depth will be relied upon for the scoring punch that Anderson provides. During preseason, New Orleans went 7-1 even though projected double-figure scorers Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon both missed games. “We’d like to think we can play a bit faster,” Williams said. “We may have to play a bit smaller (without Anderson) and give up some things, to hopefully get it back on the other end.”