If you want to know just how much the Hornets missed Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers in the lineup, go back and New Orleans’ loss to Philadelphia from Wednesday. If you can stomach it. The Hornets scored 62 points total and had more turnovers (24) than made baskets (23).
So this is good news — it’s safe to watch the Hornets again.
“It’s very good to have those guys back,” (Hornets coach Monty) Williams said.
Davis has played well this season, averaging 14.5 points per game on 55.6 percent shooting, he’s been solid defensively and he’s grabbing 6.5 rebounds a game. He is the team’s leading scorer.
His concussion came a week ago at the elbow of Rivers — he inadvertently hit his teammate on his head and knocked him out of the game. He had to pass a battery of tests to be cleared, something that had to come from the league’s neurologist, not the team.
Rivers is the starting point guard, but he has struggled with his shot (20 percent) and he has turned the ball over more than you’d hope to see, but he’s a rookie thrown into the fire. He’s supposed to be learning the hard way.
With both starter Omer Asik and backup Alexis Ajinca out injured for the rest of the preseason (and maybe a little longer), the Pelicans are looking for a center to put next to Anthony Davis for a stretch. That could include a handful of regular season games.
The New Orleans Pelicans were set to sign power forward Greg Smith, but sources said Friday night that he failed his physical examination and will not be joining the team.
And so the search goes on.
The problem is, there are not quality big men still out there on the market, there is a limited supply and just about anyone worth having is spoken for. A few with non-guaranteed contracts may be waived as we get closer to the end of training camps, but that is likely a couple of weeks away.
With both Asik and Ajinca expected back in a few weeks, it’s not worth making a trade or some big move to bring in a center, the Pelicans are just going to have to live with what is out there.
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