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Bird Feed: Tyreke Ahead of Schedule, Durant and Beal Out

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Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Tyreke Evans Hopes to Play This Week

Tyreke Evans was able to practice on Saturday and Sunday this weekend according to John Reid of NOLA.com. While light on contact Evans participating in practice over two weeks before Opening Night is a welcome sign. Nakia Hogan, also writing for the TP, mentioned on Sunday that Evans might play as early as Thursday night's preseason game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Answers at Small Forward

Along with the positive news on the injury front Hogan also had some interesting quotes on the small forward position Sunday afternoon.

"Tyreke right now in my head, that's where he is going to play (at small forward)," Williams said. "Playing Tyreke at the three for 30 or 35 minutes doesn't benefit him to go down there and bang with 6 (feet) 8 or 6 (feet) 9 guys who can go down there and post him up. Conversely those guys have to guard him in transition and in pick and roll.

"Do we have a prototype three? No. But we have some guys who can play that position. And we are still trying to see who can back up Tyreke at that spot and be effective with the second unit."

Bold added for emphasis. As you can see it sounds like Monty Williams is thinking of Tyreke Evans as the starting small forward right now. Figuring out the rotation behind him (and indeed around Evans) is going to be an interesting dilemma for the Pelican coaching staff. Luckily, some intrepid blogger already provided some answers on how to start Tyreke but keep the second unit from being a disaster.

Injuries Mount

Kevin Durant has a Jones Fracture in his right foot. He is expected to miss six to eight weeks. The Pelicans host Oklahoma City on December 2nd (seven weeks) and travel to OKC on December 21st (10 weeks from now).

Bradley Beal is also out with a left wrist fracture. Beal is expected to miss six weeks. New Orleans will travel to Washington D.C. to play the Wizards on November 29th, seven weeks from now.

Houston Tomorrow

Pelicans will play the Rockets on Tuesday at the Smoothie King Center. This will be the first look at the new court design in person or on television. Fox Sports New Orleans is not broadcasting the game. However, according to the Rockets website CSN Houston will be televising the game. Streams online will almost certainly be available.

Houston plays Phoenix on tonight so it would not be a surprise to see many starters play very limited minutes if at all against the Pelicans.