There is some concerning NBA news, according to ESPN, which reported that the New Orleans Pelicans forward, Anthony Davis, was carried off the court with a knee injury.
While in southern California to play the Los Angeles Clippers, the Pelicans had quite the frightening moment. Davis, their franchise player, was bumped in the back of the knee by Chris Paul during the third quarter and went down hard. The 6’10”, 250 pound forward was in so much pain after hitting the floor that he needed to be carried back to the locker room by two of his own teammates. The 4-11 Pelicans were in danger of falling even further down the standings.
Once he was examined by the Pelicans medical staff, it was announced that Davis had suffered a knee contusion. While it is definitely not as serious as a major knee injury, such as a torn ACL, it was painful enough for New Orleans to play it safe with the first overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Despite the pain, Davis was able to walk on his own from the locker room to the court. The 22-year-old star was able to rejoin his teammates on the sidelines, but could not play again.
It might be a smart move for the Pelicans to not rush the return of Davis to the court. Though the season is only 15 games in, the former University of Kentucky star has already been forced to miss three games due to injuries. Having just signed Davis to a five-year contract extension worth a whopping $145 million, New Orleans would be wise to think long-term as opposed to just getting production out of their franchise player during a season that looks lost.
While teams do not generally like to raise the white flag this early in an NBA season, sometimes reality kicks in and demands it. The Pelicans were considered a legitimate title contender before the season started, but they have not played anywhere near expectations. Even with Davis averaging an impressive 25.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game, New Orleans is next to last in the Western Conference, right in front of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Fortunately for the Pelicans, they do not need to scramble to find a replacement for Davis. Ryan Anderson is averaging 19.3 points despite spending most of the time as a sixth man. The 6’10”, 240 pound forward will slide into the starting lineup. With more available shots, Anderson might be able to match the 23.5 points that Davis is averaging. Starting center, Omer Asik, and backup forward, Dante Cunningham, will have to step up on defense and rebounding.
The perimeter players will also need to step up if the Hornets are to do well enough for head coach Alvin Gentry to play it safe with Davis. Starting guards Jrue Holliday and Eric Gordon are currently averaging 31 points a game so they will definitely need to step it up with the additional shots that Davis is leaving behind. Veteran guard Ish Smith, who has finally found a home in the NBA with New Orleans, has been productive, and will be given more chances.
Do you think that the New Orleans Pelicans should play it safe and give Anthony Davis as much time as he needs to recover?
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