DALLAS — New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams knows Anthony Davis is working “around the clock” to rehab his sprained right shoulder.
Just don’t ask the coach exactly what it is his superstar forward is doing during all that rehab time.
“I really don’t know,” he said. “It’s funny you asked that. I don’t know. I know he’s strengthening his shoulder and a lot of ice and (electrical stimulation). Some of those machines he has on his … I don’t know. I’m just a country boy.
“I know he’s working around the clock, but all the stuff he does, I couldn’t tell you. I just see him with a machine on his arm, a lot of ice.”
Williams said Davis, who missed his fifth consecutive game Monday night, is feeling “better every day,” but still won’t say when he expects the young forward back in the lineup.
“I’m sure we’re close,” Williams said. “We just don’t want to put a timetable on it because it puts pressure on guys when you start telling them when they should be back. We know AD and where his heart is and when he can play he’ll be the first to tell us.”
The Pelicans’ five-game winning streak with Davis, Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson out has put them within striking distance of the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot. But to hear the players tell it, the improbable streak hasn’t changed their mindset a bit.
“We’ve dealt with injuries all year,” forward Luke Babbitt said. “It’s really nothing new. Guys are stepping up, obviously. It’s a collective effort. No one’s playing out of their minds or anything. We’re just chipping in a little more.
“This isn’t a surprise to us. We know we can win games with guys out.”
The trick, Williams said, is keeping everyone grounded even as the underdog Pelicans keep winning.
“I would imagine [the players] feel really good, but I’m sure they’re not satisfied because they remember what people said about us when all this stuff went down,” Williams said. “It’s my job not to let them off the hook on that regard, to keep us hungry and keep that carrot out in front of us.
“We’re fighting for something bigger than a good reputation through this streak. We want to continue to fight for bigger things. That’s why we continue to have a day-by-day approach.”
All for us: Asked how cool it would be if all five teams in the Southwest Division made the playoffs, Williams couldn‘t help but laugh.
“It would be really cool if we made it,” he chuckled. “I don’t care about the other teams. I hope the other ones tank.”
For the record, four of the five teams are currently in playoff position, while the Pelicans entered Monday night a mere half-game behind Oklahoma City for the last spot in the West.