Pregame report: Pelicans at Nuggets (4/2/14)

by Jim Eichenhofer

News and updates from the Pepsi Center prior to Wednesday’s Western Conference game New Orleans and Denver:

• Monty Williams on Darius Miller’s season: “We just wanted him to change his body, and get in better shape, and he did that. In his situation, he hadn’t gotten consistent minutes (until recently), so it’s hard to judge him. At the same time, there have been games this year where he’s come into the game and really helped us. What I want from Darius is to put games together and help in winning situations. He’s been able to do that over the last couple weeks. I’m happy for him because he’s been a consistent worker all season. He got off to a bit of a bad start because of his foot injury (in preseason). That’s a bummer when you start the season with an injury, because you get behind in the rotation. It’s hard to catch up.”

• Williams on Anthony Davis: “If you base it on where he was last year, who’s made a bigger stride in their game in the NBA? To go from the level he was at, to an elite level, there’s nobody in the league that’s done that. I don’t know why there’s even a question about who’s going to get Most Improved Player this year. I think he kind of defines it, based on how much he’s grown as a player and a leader for our team.”

• The Nuggets are one of the few NBA teams with a more extensive injury list than the Pelicans, though Denver’s may not contain as many big-name contributors. Out tonight for Denver are Wilson Chandler (groin), Danilo Gallinari (knee), J.J. Hickson (knee), JaVale McGee (tibia) and Nate Robinson (knee). Gallinari, Hickson and Robinson are all out for the season with ACL tears.

• What’s at stake for the Pelicans (32-42): New Orleans is trying to bounce back from consecutive defeats to San Antonio and Sacramento. The Pelicans have two more games on this road trip, at Utah and Portland.

• What’s at stake for the Nuggets (32-42): Denver is hoping to end a four-game losing streak, including defeats to formidable foes Oklahoma City, San Antonio (twice) and Memphis.