Shootaround update: Warriors at Pelicans
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Pelicans.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Updates from Saturday morning’s shootaround at the New Orleans Arena:
• Tyreke Evans (ankle) is a game-time decision for New Orleans (15-23). It’s likely Monty Williams will update the reserve’s playing status during Williams’ pregame media availability session at 5:15 p.m.
• Festus Ezeli, Nemanja Nedovic and Jermaine O’Neal are all listed as out for Golden State (25-16).
• Eric Gordon is coming off his best game statistically in a New Orleans uniform, having scored 35 points in Wednesday’s 103-100 defeat to Houston. While Gordon’s performance was the biggest factor in the Pelicans building a lead against the Rockets, the team knows it must get other contributions in order to beat some of the West’s top teams. “Just be aggressive,” Al-Farouq Aminu said of what other Pelicans players need to do to help Gordon when the shooting guard gets double-teamed or swarmed by defenses. “Make sure (the defense) respects you as well.”
• Aminu, on the Pelicans’ recent near-miss losses against Dallas, San Antonio and Houston, by a combined 12 points: “We know that we’ve got to focus that much more. I don’t think it’s anything physical; it’s more mental. With all of the veterans being out, it’s up to us young guys to grow up fast. We’re taking it on. Everyone is preparing hard today. … We know that the margin is very small, the difference between winning and losing. We know we have to tighten some things up to get wins.”
• Like many NBA teams who visit New Orleans for Saturday games, Golden State is playing the second game of a back-to-back after flying in from a nearby city. The Warriors lost Friday in a particularly taxing, 127-121 game at Oklahoma City. Kevin Durant scored 54 points for the Thunder. “I’m glad they’re coming off a back-to-back,” Aminu said of the Warriors playing last night. “But they’re young. Their legs will be a little worn. We might be able to run them.”