One week of preseason games is all that remains before the New Orleans Pelicans kick-off the 2015-16 regular season at the Oracle against the Golden State Warriors. Up first are the Houston Rockets tonight at the Toyota Center.
Reportedly Anthony Davis (rest) and Tyreke Evans (knee) will join Quincy Pondexter, Norris Cole, Omer Asik, Alexis Ajinca and Luke Babbitt on the sidelines. However, according to John Reid, Eric Gordon has a fair chance of playing because the Pelicans have penciled him in as a starter.
For the Rockets, they are expected to be without the services of Dwight Howard (back), Terrence Jones (concussion) and Patrick Beverley (groin). Corey Brewer and Clint Capela are game-time decisions.
In Davis' stead, Ryan Anderson will draw the start at power forward. He will be looking to build off two consecutive viable performances in which he's averaged 19 points, 7 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 3 threes.
With the Pelicans entering their final week of the exhibition play, the race to make the regular season roster should be tighter than ever. Sean Kilpatrick, Bryce-Dejean Jones and Chris Douglas-Roberts are all likely competing for one vacant slot while Nate Robinson and Bo Calebb probably the 15th spot.
Although the Pelicans depth is hurting at the center position, expect a greater emphasis to be placed on the point guard position. Based on his original timeline, Asik should return sometime during the first week of the regular season. Meanwhile Cole's high ankle sprain and Evans balky knee are longer term concerns, especially if the Pelicans remain stringent regarding Jrue Holiday's minutes restriction.