Derrick Favors grabs a rebound vs. Utah on Jan. 6

Pelicans shootaround update presented by HUB International: Derrick Favors expects to play vs. Jazz

Decision on Brandon Ingram status will be made closer to tip-off
by Jim Eichenhofer

Wednesday brought positive news related to the targeted debut date for one of New Orleans’ projected frontcourt starters in 2019-20. Thursday morning brought more encouraging developments for the other first-string frontcourt players.

Derrick Favors told reporters after shootaround in the Smoothie King Center that he is “ready to go tonight,” meaning he expects to play against Utah, his former team. The starting center was sidelined for two games due to a hamstring strain, but was upgraded to probable on yesterday’s injury report. The 10-year NBA veteran said of his current status, “I feel good. Everything’s feeling good.”

Meanwhile, Brandon Ingram – who in training camp was the starting small forward next to Zion Williamson, but has been shifted at times to power forward – joined Favors in being listed as probable vs. Utah. Ingram (right knee soreness) indicated that his final decision on playing will be made prior to tip-off.

“I feel pretty good this morning,” the fourth-year pro said. “I’ll come in with my pregame and my routine stuff and see how I feel then.”

Other notes from shootaround:

With Favors, Ingram, Jrue Holiday, JJ Redick and Williamson all in street clothes Monday at Detroit, the Pelicans still found a way to register a 117-110 victory in overtime.

“That was an impressive win for us, because we basically had all the starters out,” Favors said. “The guys who don’t get a chance to play that much, or guys who come off the bench, they got extended minutes, and took advantage of it. Jahlil (Okafor) played great. For those guys to come out and play that way after not getting that many minutes is impressive, and hopefully they can keep that up.”

Ingram: “Coach always preaches ‘next guy up.’ I think they really bought in to that. They did a pretty good job of doing what they do well on the floor and it was effective.” …

David Griffin and Alvin Gentry commented Wednesday about how much they’d like to eventually see what New Orleans (15-26, but 8-3 since Dec. 23) is capable of with a fully healthy roster. Pelicans players concur, given that the team has shown glimpses of its ability, but would likely be in significantly better position if not for various injuries.

“We have a lot of key guys who’ve been in and out of the rotation, and obviously Zion’s been out the whole year,” Favors said. “So I’m pretty sure everyone feels that way. We’ve got a team that has a lot of potential, but it just hasn’t been able to show it, because of the injuries. Hopefully everyone gets healthy, we can get to 100 percent and finally have a full roster.” …

Favors on the projected Jan. 22 regular season debut of Williamson: “I’m sure it will be exciting for the fans and everybody watching. For the team, we are really happy for him, because we know the type of player he is and all the hard work he put in. We’ll be excited for him, to finally have the chance to play in the regular NBA season game. I’m pretty sure it will be a lot of excitement.” …

Tonight is the second time the Jazz and Pelicans have met in New Orleans over a 10-day span. Former Jazz player Favors on facing longtime teammate Rudy Gobert: “He’s one of those guys who are kind of like James Harden, where you know they are going to get their stats. You know he’s going to get the rebounds, so you try to limit his offensive rebounds and his impact in the paint.”

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