Pelicans shootaround update presented by HUB International: Andre Drummond status uncertain for Detroit

by Jim Eichenhofer

Detroit’s fourth- and sixth-leading scorers this season were both listed as questionable on the Pistons’ injury report this morning, making it a bit more difficult for New Orleans to know exactly who it will be facing when the Pistons (21-17) and Pelicans (19-19) meet for the first time Monday. Elite rebounder Andre Drummond’s status is uncertain due to a rib injury, while third-year wing Stanley Johnson is dealing with a hip injury.

“You just know personnel. You gameplan for everybody,” Pelicans four-time All-Star forward Anthony Davis said of dealing with uncertainty from the opponent. “We do a great job of letting players know as early as possible who’s playing and who’s not, and see what each player likes to do. It’s tough, especially when some of their top guys are on the fence about playing or not, but you’ve just got to stay prepared and figure out what you’re going to do on your end.”

Detroit’s rotations have been a bit in flux through the season, with starting point guard Reggie Jackson sidelined for an extended period of time due to a severe ankle sprain. Starting shooting guard Avery Bradley just returned three games ago from an injury of his own. With Jackson out of action, the Pistons handed the keys of the offense over to former New Orleans point guard Ish Smith, who was previously Jackson’s backup.

“He does a great job of pushing the ball up the floor, plays with a lot of energy, a lot of pace,” Davis said of his former teammate. “He can see the floor well, and he’s worked on his scoring, too. When they get the rebound, they’re going to give it to him and try to fly up the floor.”

“One thing that’s going to be big tonight is defense,” Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday said, “with Avery Bradley and Ish penetrating to the basket, (Reggie) Bullock shooting threes, Tobias Harris can score, and big fella (Drummond, if he plays) down low. We’re going to have to talk and communicate and get stops.”

Other notes from shootaround the Ochsner Sports Performance Center:

Asked about Saturday’s discouraging 18-point loss at Minnesota, Davis responded, “We’re done with that game.” …

The Pelicans have been held to single-digit makes from the three-point line only four times since Nov. 25, but they’ve lost all four of those games, including the three most recent defeats overall to Dallas, New York and Minnesota.

Holiday noted that NBA teams are going to go through shooting slumps periodically, but “that’s where our defense comes in. I think we’ve had issues with that for a while. Just being to lock in defensively and get stops, even when our offense isn’t going as well (is important).”