Shootaround update: Knicks at Pelicans
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Updates from Wednesday morning’s shootaround at the Smoothie King Center:
• Pelicans shooting guard Anthony Morrow on why the team has thrived recently in the paint, frequently outscoring opponents: “Anthony Davis. He draws a lot of attention and is very active down there. Everybody’s getting into a rhythm. Guys are doing a good job of getting into the paint and finishing.”
• For several Pelicans players, trade-deadline rumors are just part of being in the NBA. This season’s deadline is Thursday at 2 p.m. Central. On how he’s handling the trade deadline, a smiling Morrow said simply: “I’m not (going) on Twitter. I’ve dealt with this before. This is my sixth year. It’s not as big of a deal. As long as I’m wearing this Pelicans jersey, that’s all that matters.”
• Davis has drawn considerable attention this season as a first-time All-Star, as well as the league leader in blocked shots. Less discussed is that Davis also deserves consideration for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award. Some of the other candidates are young players such as Indiana’s Lance Stephenson, Sacramento’s Isaiah Thomas and Phoenix’s Goran Dragic, among others. “There are other guys (who are candidates), but I come in and watch how hard Anthony works,” Morrow said. “For him to be so young, he’s beyond his years in terms of mentality. He wants to get better every day. He understands what it takes to be great. He’s a great kid. Off the court, you don’t have to worry about that. The sky’s the limit for him.”
• The Pelicans have 21 games remaining against the Western Conference out of 30 on their schedule. They play three consecutive East teams this week, before the slate gets extremely difficult on paper. “We’re in the West,” Morrow said, alluding to the formidable competition. “I hadn’t been in the West in about three years (other than briefly last season with Dallas). It woke me up really fast when I looked at the standings. We know what we’re up against. We’re just trying to get better, and praying for the guys who are hurt.”
• New York did not hold a shootaround this morning, having played at Memphis last night and losing a close game to the Grizzlies.