Pregame report: Wizards at Pelicans
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
News and updates from the New Orleans Arena prior to Wednesday’s interconference game between Washington and New Orleans:
• Pelicans Coach Monty Williams indicated that he is continue to assess the situation at starting center, a spot held by Jason Smith prior to being injured in mid-December. Williams said Smith will at least temporarily continue to come off the bench, as he did Tuesday at Miami. “I want him to play a few games before we put him back in (the starting lineup) – if we do,” Williams said. Alexis Ajinca started the past three games at Boston, Indiana and Miami. Williams also mentioned the possibility of moving Greg Stiemsma back into the starting role, which he held during most of preseason.
• The Pelicans announced about 90 minutes before tip-off that Ryan Anderson will not be with the team at tonight’s game, in order to get additional rest after his frightening injury last week and multi-day stay at a Boston hospital. Anderson, who is out indefinitely with a herniated disc, will speak to the media Friday morning after the team’s shootaround in New Orleans. “The hit he took was a big-time blow," Williams said. "It was like a football (collision)."
• Although Williams downplayed the logistical difficulties of the Pelicans’ four-game road trip while it was happening, he said tonight that “I’ve been in the league for 20 years now. I’ve never had a trip like that. From flights being postponed, to having to leave a town because you’re going to get snowed out, to having to get out of it because you’re going to get snowed in. To being delayed for two days, with one day where we were at the airport for nine or 10 hours.”
• Despite the bizarre string of events that made the road trip one with little rest for the Pelicans, Williams said he will not use it as an excuse entering tonight’s game vs. Washington. “We’re not tired – we’re not even going to give in to that,” Williams said. “Washington played last night. We played last night. This is the NBA. I don’t even want to hear ‘tired.’ We’ve got to go out and perform tonight. We’ve got to play for 48 minutes. Our guys know that.”