Two big names out of action for Pelicans-Thunder game on ESPN

OKLAHOMA CITY – When ESPN picked the Nov. 18 game between New Orleans and Oklahoma City for its national broadcast schedule, the network certainly looked forward to a matchup that would feature Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis, two players mentioned on the short list of MVP candidates. Unfortunately for ESPN and basketball fans across the country, neither will be in uniform for Wednesday’s Western Conference game in Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Alvin Gentry told media members during his pregame session that Davis is not expected to play, due to the left shoulder injury that caused him to exit Tuesday’s loss to Denver in the first quarter. In addition to Davis being sidelined, the Pelicans (1-10) will be without Omer Asik, who is missing a second straight game due to a stomach illness.

Durant, who won the 2013-14 MVP award, is out of action right now due to a hamstring strain.

“The chances are not very good,” Gentry said of the possibility of Davis playing, describing it as doubtful. Meanwhile, Gentry said of Asik that the 7-foot center is “not feeling great. Obviously it’s one of those things where it doesn’t make sense to try to stick him out there if he’s not healthy and ready to play.”

Other notes from pregame:

  • Gentry going into further detail on Davis’ status: “It’s discomfort. He’s having trouble raising his arm up to the point where he can be effective. As tough as it is for us and what we’re going through, we’ve still got to think long term. This is not anything that anyone enjoys going through, but it is what it appears to be. We just have to keep fighting. It’s that simple. We have to accept the challenge and fight as hard as we can.”