Ryan Anderson remains in Boston after collision
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
BOSTON – In one of the New Orleans Pelicans’ most hectic stretches of the regular season, they traveled on a flight to Indianapolis not long after putting the final touches on Friday’s 95-92 victory in Boston. Meanwhile, one of the biggest reasons for the Pelicans’ successful night against the Celtics stayed behind in Beantown.
New Orleans forward Ryan Anderson was forced to exit Friday’s game with 11:02 remaining in the fourth quarter, after Boston’s Gerald Wallace accidentally collided into Anderson from behind as Wallace tried to steal an inbounds pass. Anderson was taken to a local Boston hospital after leaving TD Garden on a stretcher. He was expected to remain in Massachusetts overnight, as his teammates traveled to Indiana for Saturday’s 6 p.m. Central game against the Pacers.
Pelicans sideline reporter Jennifer Hale relayed the news that Anderson was diagnosed with a cervical stinger. Hale was told by the team’s training staff that a cervical stinger is “an injury to nerves in (the) neck or shoulder that cause burning or stinging.”
New Orleans backup point guard Brian Roberts was inbounding the ball on the play, trying to pass to Darius Miller, who was moving back toward Roberts along the near sideline. Wallace arrived a split-second after the ball did, causing him to crash into both Anderson and Miller. On TV replays, it appeared that Wallace’s contact caused Anderson’s head to make a whiplash-type motion. He fell to the floor and remained there for about 10 minutes until he was taken out of TD Garden by stretcher.
“I just saw Ryan and Darius were cutting kind of in the same area,” Roberts said. “All of a sudden, I think it was Wallace who tried to come in and deflect the ball, and it got too crowded in one spot. (Wallace) just kind of bulldozed his way through Darius and Ryan. That’s all I saw.”
After being knocked to the floor, a prone Anderson could be seen calmly talking to teammates and coaches. Roberts stood nearby as Anderson wisely chose to remain down.
“He was saying, ‘Just give me a second.’ ” Roberts related. “He wasn’t ready to get up just yet. So he kept saying, ‘Just wait, just wait.’ We asked him if he wanted a timeout and he said, ‘Just give me a second.’ ”
“He was loose the whole time and was talking to the doctors and the trainer, so that was a good sign,” Pelicans Coach Monty Williams said as he spoke to media after the game. “We just haven’t gotten any details as to how he feels right now.”
Williams expressed concern postgame about Anderson’s mother, hoping that his words would reach her. “We are just praying for Ryan’s health,” Williams said. “He looked like he was OK. I was more worried about his mother. I know she’s at home a nervous wreck so hopefully she hears this message and is cool with the fact that he’s OK and in good hands.”
One of the Pelicans’ most popular players among New Orleans fans and his teammates, numerous players also extended prayers for Anderson.
“It was tough,” Anthony Davis said of seeing Anderson get injured. “It’s a sad situation. You don’t want to see one of your guys go down, especially one of your leaders. We just prayed for him, but at the same time we’ve got to try and win the game. From that point on, we just tried to win it for him.”