Shootaround: vs. Wizards
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com, @Jim_Eichenhofer
Updates from shootaround heading into Tuesday night’s interconference home game against the Washington Wizards:
• The obvious headliner from the morning is that No. 1 overall draft pick Anthony Davis will return to action for the first time since Nov. 17 in Milwaukee. “I’m going to bring him off the bench,” Monty Williams said. “To just ease him into playing again. He’s ready to go. He’s excited about playing. Ryan (Anderson) is playing so well. I think (bringing Davis off the bench) is the right thing to do, to ease him back into it. That could change. Ryan knows that. But right now, I just want to keep it the way it is.”
• Williams, on whether there will be minute restrictions on Davis: “I’m sure there will be. I’ll talk to the trainers and doctors about that.” The Hornets have not overloaded Davis with minutes so far. In his six games, he’s only logged more than 32 minutes once, a 37-minute outing vs. Charlotte on Nov. 9. “He doesn’t play heavy, heavy minutes anyway,” Williams pointed out, partly due to New Orleans’ frontcourt depth. Davis’ physical condition will be tested quickly, because New Orleans plays a back-to-back Wednesday at Oklahoma City.
• Williams indicated that there may be more starting lineup changes coming, telling a reporter that he is planning to make more tweaks. “I’ll tell you tonight,” Williams said. “I just want to hold onto it for now. I’m still tinkering with combinations and trying to get a combination that’s going to give us the best chance to progress, and help our program move forward.”
• Davis: “I’m ready to go. The training staff feels like I’m ready to go. I practiced yesterday, had shootaround today to just see how it feels.” The rookie added that at one stage during his rehab, “cutting was really bothering me, so we had to push back (his projected return).”
• Davis on the precautions he and the team took with his injury: “I’d rather sit out now than sit out later, or end up doing something terrible to it and have to sit out a couple years. I’d (rather) go through this process and get it out of the way, so I can be healthy for the season.”