Pregame report: Pelicans at Bucks
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
News and updates from the Bradley Center prior to Wednesday’s interconference game between New Orleans and Milwaukee:
• It’s the final game for both teams prior to the All-Star break, with the Pelicans (22-29) trying to wrap up their three-game road trip in successful fashion. The Bucks (9-42) have six fewer wins than any other NBA team.
• Pelicans Coach Monty Williams on Anthony Davis, who will make his All-Star debut Sunday: “He’s starting to understand if he’s going to be a great player, he’s got to have a great work ethic. It has to come from within. He’s grown in that area immensely. He didn’t know what ‘NBA work’ was like until he got to our team. And I think being around the Olympic guys helped him a ton. I think he understands if he’s going to be great, he has to go after it, on his own time, and with coaches. To be recognized, at 20 (years old), for what he’s done in the first half of the season says a lot about him and that could build his confidence big-time.”
• Williams, when asked if the downside of Davis participating in All-Star events is that Davis won’t get much rest during the break: “To the victor go the spoils. He could (instead) be home with me, watching film. (Now) he can enjoy the fruits of his labor. The bottom line is he’s made it to this point. Now you may as well enjoy it. I think too much is made of all these young guys needing rest. At the AAU scene, they play 15 games in a weekend. Now they work two or three hours a day, and everybody tells them they’re tired. So (some players) are like, ‘Yeah, maybe am I tired!’ Come on, man. These guys are 22, 23 years old. They’ll be fine.”
• Milwaukee will be without key bigs Larry Sanders and John Henson due to injury, but the Bucks shouldn’t expect much sympathy from New Orleans, which has not had Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday and Jason Smith for an extended stretch. “We can’t look at that,” Williams said. “Obviously, Sanders is one of the best, and Henson is coming along as a rim protector. I know it affects their team, but last I checked, we don’t have Jrue, Ryan or Jason. We’ve got to play a solid game of basketball, no matter who’s on the floor.”