Pelicans’ Dante Cunningham out 4-6 with fractured fibula

Associated Press

The Pelicans have been leaning on Dante Cunningham for about 23 minutes a night on the wing (he started 10 of their games this season), and he’s not exactly lit it up for them — 5.6 points per game, and while he is shooting 41 percent from three he is struggling inside the arc, all of which has added up to a PER of 8.

Now New Orleans — winners of four in a row — will need someone else to step up and fill those minutes, because Cunningham is out until around Christmas at least, and possibly into the New Year, the team announced on Thanksgiving.

The fibula is the smaller of the two bones that runs from your knee to your ankle. The injury occurred in the second quarter Wednesday in the win over Minnesota.

The Pelicans need Solomon Hill to step up, they paid the man $48 million last summer to fill out this role. Hill won the job out of training camp but was replaced by Cunningham as Alvin Gentry looked to shake things up. While Hill had a nice game against Atlanta a couple of games ago (11 points on six shots) he’s going to have to step up now if the Pelicans are going to keep their hot streak going and get back into the playoff hunt in the West. They still have a lot of mountain to climb on that front.