Anthony Davis' night was over almost as soon as it had started. 3:43 into the game, he walked mysteriously towards the bench and Alexis Ajinca raced to the scorers table. He didn't seem to injure himself on any specific play so it was no wonder the fan base was puzzled. As it turned out, Davis has been bothered by soreness in his left ankle and he wasn't even sure he'd be able to to play tonight. Although he gave it a go, the pain was simply too much. He will undergo an MRI, but it's almost a given he won't be back tomorrow. Even if the results come back relatively clean, expect the Pelicans to be careful with their superstar and so at a minimum, he'll likely miss at least several games. Sounds like averaging close to 40 minutes in March might have taken their toll.
As for Friday's match-up, the Pelicans still managed to take care of business. The Utah Jazz aren't very good and they've been in a death spiral the last 15 games. Although the score was close throughout, the Jazz never were able to mount a sustained effort. The Pelicans still had one very good player remaining and Tyreke Evans didn't disappoint. It also helped the Pelicans were able to make 5 of their last 6 three point attempts and they were able to score 31 points off of 18 Jazz turnovers, a new season high.
- Tyreke Evans had 22 points but it was his season high 15 assists that did the most damage. What a luxury it is to have a player on the roster who plays the wing positions but can masquerade as a point guard when needed.
- Anthony Morrow had a very empty stat line but did finish with 20 points and 3 three's.
- Alexis Ajinca had the most impact down low: 9 points, 10 rebounds, 1 steal and 3 blocks. Not that we've needed any further reinforcement but it's clear who should have the inside track for the backup five next season.
- Al-Farouq Aminu had 13 points and 8 rebounds (7 in the first half).
- Luke Babbitt's line shouldn't jump out at anyone (9 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists) but his minutes are crucial to our overall success. His presence on the floor makes a night and day difference.
- Austin Rivers returned from his 1 game absence to post 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 three. He is having his best month of the season and it's a welcome sight the team is able to count on some consistent production.
- Darius Miller followed up his splendid performance against the Clippers with 12 points. Too bad the only thing I'm going to remember is foul on a Richard Jefferson three point attempt with 21 seconds left.
- The Pelicans had five players score in double figures with two more narrowly missing.
- Greg Stiemsma and Ajinca combined for 12 fouls. In craps, that's called boxcars or midnight. Why mention that? Because two 6's in the personal foul column have no place in basketball.
The Pelicans have won a season-high 5 games in a row and 9 of their last 12. With the Denver Nuggets getting crushed by the Spurs, New Orleans drops one slot further in the upcoming lottery. However, that will probably be short-lived as our team travels to San Antonio to play in a back-to-back. The Spurs are operating on all cylinders while the Pelicans will likely be without a single original starter.