This past Sunday, playing the Suns for the second time this season, resulted in identical fashion as to the first meeting -- a loss. Hopefully, the trend continues tonight as the Pelicans, winners in their first encounter against the Lakers, face the blue and gold at Staples Center.
The Lakers point guard has been ruled out for a minimum of two weeks due to nerve pain in his back, making things even more difficult for an L.A. team already without Kobe Bryant.
Steve Blake and Jodie Meeks are expected to start in the back court and Pau Gasol will likely man the middle, but the other two spots might still be up in the air. Mike D'Antoni has gone with five different starting lineups in their first eight games and tonight may be no different.
Despite the strategy of the opponent, Monty Williams has more than enough on his plate. The Pelicans remain inconsistent during long stretches on both sides of the ball. Several of our big names, Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday, continue to struggle.
Speaking of Evans, there could be a chance he doesn't play tonight, thanks to possibly re-aggravating his left ankle. In the last game, he only played seven minutes before sitting out the rest of the game. In his stead, Anthony Morrow had his best game as a Pelican, posting 16 points on 11 shots in 28 minutes.
One other note, in case you missed it, Lance Thomas and Arinze Onuaku will be replaced on the roster by Lou Amundson and Josh Childress. Both of the newly acquired additions reportedly went through shoot-around, but Monty refused to answer whether they would get into the game tonight.