New Orleans Pelicans point guard Tyreke Evans practiced Saturday, which means he likely will play Sunday against the Denver Nuggets at Smoothie King Center.
Evans sprained his left ankle after driving into the lane during Monday’s game at Milwaukee and landing on the foot of Bucks power forward Ersan Ilyasova. Coach Monty Williams said they’ll wait until after the morning’s morning’s shoot-around before making a determination.
“He looked alright (Saturday),” Williams said. “Hopefully his ankle responds to what he did today.”
Evans, who was held out until Saturday, has said all along he expected to play, but he usually says that in the face of an injury.
“I’ve been going back and forth between ice and heat, getting it ready,” he said. “It’s not as bad as some sprained ankles I’ve had.”
And, with the Pelicans are in a playoff battle with Oklahoma City for the eighth and final playoff spot, Williams said Evans has done everything possible to get back on the court.
“I’ve never been in the playoffs, so I’m hungry,” Evans said. “I’m excited about it, actually playing for something like that.
“Denver beat us the last time here (Jan. 28), so we owe them one.”
Guard gets another shot
Elliot Williams, signed to a 10-day contract by the Pelicans on March 3, was signed to his second one on Saturday.
Williams, 6 feet 4, is the latest in a line of guards the Pelicans have signed to 10-day deals, coming after Gal Mekel, Nate Wolters and Toney Douglas. This re-signing was no surprise after Williams’ play in five games during his first contract.
“We’ve always liked him, but there was a lot of unknown, and there’s still some unknown with Elliot,” Coach Williams said. “But what he’s shown so far is that he’s not afraid. He can do some things on the floor, he’s got a shot, he’s got some (athletic) explosion. He can make some plays on the floor, and he’ll defend.”
Williams, who was an NBA Development League All-Star this season with Santa Cruz, apparently made getting another shot a done deal with his play at Brooklyn on Tuesday. With Evans sideline, he backed up Norris Cole, played good defense and was part of the team of reserves who turned the game around in the second quarter.
Williams’ second 10-day will expire on March 24. However, the Pelicans will have 12 games left after that, so it appears likely he will be retained.
Davis turns 22
On Sunday, Anthony Davis will play his first game as a 22-year-old, having had a birthday on March 11.
Asked what he did to celebrate, Davis said, “Nothing. It was just another day.”
His party may have come two nights earlier, when he scored a career-tying 43 points in the win at Milwaukee. Before that game, he averaged 34 points on 54.9 shooting, 13.5 rebounds, 5.5 blocks and 2.2 steals in three games.
His name remains strongly in MVP consideration, behind Golden State point guard Stephen Curry and Houston guard James Harden.
“I have a lot to learn,” said Davis, who is fourth in the NBA in scoring (24.5 points), averages 10.3 rebounds leads the league in league blocked shots (2.81 per game). “I’ve done quite a few things, but I’m nowhere where I want to be. I have a lot to learn about the game, about myself, about my game.”
Not so impressed
Davis recently had become the Pelicans’ career leader in blocked shots, with 437.
Coach Williams, noting that he had passed former New Orleans power forward David West (435), was not exactly effusive with praise.
“I love David West,” said Williams, who coached him during the 2010-11 season. “But when it comes to blocked shots, it’s not like (Davis) passed Hakeem Olajuwon or Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar).”