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Game Thread: Pelicans’ Steven Adams 50/50 to see action, but Willy Hernangomez will be in rotation versus Suns

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Houston Rockets v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

Steven Adams will go through warm-ups before a decision is made on his availability for the Pelicans matchup tonight against the Suns. Stan Van Gundy said that his odds of playing are currently 50/50, but the head coach did mention that Adams participated in the morning’s shootaround.

On the other hand, Van Gundy did confirm that Willy Hernangomez will see rotation minutes versus Phoenix. After playing a total of 12 minutes spread over three games, Hernangomez saw 29 minutes of action a few nights ago versus the Kings, and put together an effective performance: 13 points, 11 rebounds and two assists.

“We know that Willy’s a good player,” Van Gundy said after the loss to Sacramento. “We knew when we signed him. I was excited about the signing. He’s a good basketball player with some experience… so your decision becomes basically, ‘Are you going to play him and take the minutes from a young guy like Jaxson Hayes?’ I mean that’s what it comes down to, and that’s really as simple as a decision gets. It’s either he or Jaxson. It’s not going to be both of them; not when Steven’s (Adams) back healthy. I mean, it won’t be both of them. That will have to be the decision.”

Well, it appears Hernangomez may have moved ahead of Jaxson Hayes on the depth chart, for at least the time being, and I think we should all applaud the move if it pans out accordingly. Considering how often Hayes continues to look lost on the defensive end, this feels like the correct decision.

For more on tonight’s matchup, please give Travis’ preview a read.

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (7-12) vs Phoenix Suns (11-8)

When: February 3, 8:30 p.m. Central

Where to watch: ESPN, FSNO

Where to listen: ESPN 100.3 FM

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.