CHARLOTTE – Anthony Davis briefly feared the worst Wednesday. On a play at the end of the second quarter vs. Toronto, Davis hit his left wrist on the rim, a sequence eerily similar to when he fractured his hand earlier in his career during a game in New York.
Fortunately for Davis and the Pelicans, this time X-rays came back negative; three days later, he is 100 percent and will be available Saturday – on his 24th birthday, no less – against the Charlotte Hornets. The three-time All-Star’s presence has been crucial all season for New Orleans (25-40), because in five games in which Davis has logged fewer than 24 minutes due to an in-game injury, the Pelicans are 1-4. That loss total increased Wednesday, when Toronto took control of an interconference matchup in the second half, while New Orleans tried to play without Davis.
“Luckily it wasn’t that serious,” Davis said of this injury. “It was really swollen, very sore. I tried to catch basketballs and dribble, but it just wouldn’t allow me to do it at that point in time. It feels a lot better now. I practiced (Friday) and no problems. So I’ll be good to go (Saturday).”
Other notes prior to Saturday’s game at the Spectrum Center:
Charlotte offseason resident Alexis Ajinca – also a former member of the then-Bobcats – is coming off a productive nine-point game in nine minutes of action. His role has fluctuated from game to game based partly on matchups, but the 7-foot-2 center has had two recent quality outings in limited time, including a 10-point, eight-rebound night vs. Detroit on March 1. Ajinca on his recent focus: “Just trying to have fun and bring whatever I can to the team on the court. It could be points, it could be rebounds or defense. I just try to be solid and enjoy the time I have on the court.” …
The Hornets (29-36), who are fighting for a playoff spot in the East, possess a fairly mobile frontcourt, with athletic Cody Zeller in the middle and a reliance on stretch fours/fives like Marvin Williams and Frank Kaminsky (though Kaminsky is sidelined by injury). Ajinca on Charlotte: “It is definitely going to be a different game for us, because we have big guys. We have to make sure we’re with them on the run and control that.”