Pregame report: Pelicans at Nuggets
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Updates from the Pepsi Center prior to Sunday’s Western Conference game between New Orleans and Denver:
• Tyreke Evans will not play for New Orleans, after sustaining a left ankle sprain in Friday’s win over Memphis. Monty Williams said one frustrating aspect of Evans’ recent injuries is that it’s difficult to prevent the way it has has happened. Williams: “He’s just working on strengthening his ankle (today). It’s hard to do anything about it when a guy steps on another guy’s foot. It’s part of the game. They can try to come up with a (stronger) shoe and all that, but when you step on somebody’s foot going full speed, it’s going to give.”
• Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis, who has increased his activity recently despite a fractured left hand, spoke with Pelicans radio broadcaster Sean Kelley at shootaround this morning in Denver. Tune in to the Pelicans Radio Network at 7 p.m. Central to hear more from Davis, with extended comments during the halftime break.
• Anthony Morrow on the void created by the Evans injury: “It’s tough obviously when you’ve got a guy (sidelined) who can fill up the stat sheet like he does and draw so much attention, especially with me being a shooter, and Ryan (Anderson) as well. But it’s part of the game. We’ve got to go out and compete. We’ve got to bring the energy off the bench as soon as we step on the floor. Everybody on the bench, we take pride in that.”
• Denver Coach Brian Shaw said he contemplated changing his team’s starting lineup after a poor first quarter led to a home loss Friday against struggling Utah. Shaw decided against the move but said his players are on notice that they need to start games more quickly.
• Shaw on the Pelicans: “With the addition of Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans, they have guys who can put the ball on the floor and make plays. Ryan Anderson stretches the floor, Jason Smith is playing the best he’s ever played. They’re playing with a lot of confidence.”