Anthony Davis returns to Pelicans’ lineup after five game absence

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The New Orleans Pelicans are just one game out of the playoffs in the West, although catching and passing the Oklahoma City Thunder will be a tall task. One that would be nearly impossible without Anthony Davis in the lineup.

He’s back.

After missing five games due to a shoulder strain the Pelicans’ franchise player and All-Star big will play Wednesday night against the Pistons, coach Monty Williams confirmed pregame.

“His workouts have gone well,” Williams said of Davis. “He had a really good workout yesterday. A semi-workout this morning. He passed everything with flying colors, so we’re happy to have him back in the lineup.”

The Pelicans went an impressive 4-1 without Davis, doing it with an amazing offense scoring 109.1 points per 100 possessions (the best in the league over that stretch). Tyreke Evans should take a lot of credit for that with his play during the run.

But the Pelicans need Davis back. He has averaged 23.9 points on 54 percent shooting, plus pulled down 10.3 rebounds a game. While he’s an offensive force it’s the other end of the court where he may be more needed, he brings 2.7 blocks and a lot of intimidation in the paint to New Orleans.