Pregame report: Pelicans at Mavericks
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
News and notes from the arena in Dallas prior to Monday’s Southwest Division preseason game:
• The status of Tyreke Evans (ankle) in terms of the near future is still being evaluated, but he obviously is out for tonight's game. Meanwhile, Brian Roberts (ankle) is a game-time decision; it was still uncertain minutes ago whether he would play against the Mavericks.
• Monty Williams mentioned that Lazar Hayward may get more playing time Monday, partly based on some of the team’s other injuries. Ryan Anderson will play tonight, which means some of the other bigs may see fewer minutes compared to Saturday.
• Williams on some of the positives of Saturday’s game: “Austin Rivers attacking the basket; Anthony Morrow’s shooting; Jason Smith bouncing back after missing a lot of (last) season; Anthony Davis was aggressive going to the basket – I thought there was a stretch in the third quarter where he put the team on his back. Those are things we can hang our hat on.”
• Asked in pregame how the team might be able to make things go more smoothly in preseason, Williams responded that an inevitable aspect of this month is that things aren’t always going to go as planned. “If you’re looking for smooth,” he said, “use Dove (soap), I guess. We’ve got to go through (adversity). Training camp is hard. It’s a mindset you have to have, that it’s going to be difficult.”
• Williams believes the talent surrounding Jrue Holiday in New Orleans may allow Holiday to be a more efficient player offensively, after he was required to do just about everything for Philadelphia last season. Holiday may be able to reduce his turnovers and increase his shooting percentage with the Pelicans, after averages of 3.7 and 43.1 there in his All-Star season. Holiday averaged 17.7 points in 2012-13, but it’s possible he will not need to score as much with his new team. “He was asked to do a lot in Philly,” Williams said. “Defend, score, pass, run the team. I’m sure he was tired last year. The hope is that playing with (Anthony Davis), Ryan (Anderson), Eric (Gordon) and guys who can really shoot the ball, you won’t feel like he’s got to come out and score 18 to 20 points a night.”