Shootaround update: Heat at Pelicans
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Updates from Wednesday morning’s shootaround at the New Orleans Arena:
• Pelicans guard/forward Tyreke Evans has practiced this week and is getting closer to returning to game action, something he confirmed by saying he expects to play Friday at Orlando. “Coach (Monty Williams) told me to sit this one out (tonight vs. Miami), but get ready for Orlando,” Evans said. “I’m definitely (playing) in Orlando, for sure.”
• Ryan Anderson on renovations to the team’s home building: “The arena already looks so much better. I’m excited to hear what everybody thinks about it. I was pretty excited about it waking up this morning, just seeing the new changes. Our locker room is pretty amazing. From what it was, to where we are now, it seems like we are in a completely different environment.”
• Anderson on facing the two-time defending NBA champion Heat: “Games like this are true tests. Obviously it’s still preseason, but we’re still going to work, improve and get better. We’re looking at this as not only a great challenge, but it’s a great opportunity for us to get better tonight. Playing a team like this is only going to prepare you for the regular season.”
• Evans’ return would bring New Orleans back nearly to 100 percent health. Small forward Darius Miller (left foot stress fracture) will miss the beginning of the regular season. His return is to be determined. • Due to the NBA’s reworked media guidelines, home coaches do not speak to the media anymore at morning shootarounds. Williams will be available at 5:15 prior to the team’s customary 7 p.m. home games.
• New Orleans is 6-0 for the first time in preseason since 2008, when it finished unbeaten at 8-0. The club finished the 2008-09 regular season at 49-33, losing in the first round of the playoffs to Denver.