OAKLAND — The highs and the lows. That’s what the Pelicans are trying to avoid over this three-game road trip out West. Especially Tyreke Evans, whose last two games have made him a little dizzy.
Evans followed up a 2-for-15 shooting night, scoring four points in a loss Saturday to the Wizards, with a 14-for-24 performance as he scored 30 in the Pelicans’ win over the Thunder on Tuesday.
“I gotta run more,” Evans said Thursday, before 8-8 New Orleans went up against 15-2 Golden State. “When I run, I’m at my best. The ball is in my hands, of course.”
The 6-foot-6 Evans has moved from small forward to shooting guard with Eric Gordon out with a shoulder injury. He knows he has to get a hand up early and often against the Warriors’ Klay Thompson Thursday night, but thinks offense and not defense will hold the key to the Pelicans’ success against the Warriors, Clippers and Lakers this trip.
“We didn’t get any fast-break points that game against Washington,” he said. “We have to have more pep in our step like we did against the Thunder. We have to be like that every night.”
Evans doesn’t know how long he will be in Gordon’s spot. New Orleans coach Monty Williams had said the team will find out soon whether Gordon will need surgery on his torn left labrum, but he hadn’t heard as of tip-off Thursday night.
Evans, who is averaging 15.9 points per game and 5.9 assists, said his role hasn’t changed with the move to shooting guard.
“Not really,” he said. “It’s the same game plan. Get my teammates going and then get myself going.”
It’s a familiar move for Evans, as he replaced Eric Gordon for the final 14 games after he suffered a knee injury.
Williams thinks Evans’ shot is better due to some offseason work and has been pleased with Evans’ play all season.
“He is just playing with more force,” William said. “He’s getting to the basket and finding guys. Defensively, he’s getting into his assignments a lot better this season. His focus is better.”
Though this is his sixth season, remember, Evans is only 25 years old.
Evans said the teams knows how important the next three games are.
“This is big for us,” he said. “We are fighting to try and be in that playoff race.”
For Evans and the rest of the Pelicans, Williams says it comes down to one word.
“Carryover. That’s it, carrying it over and playing hard,’’ Williams said. “(The Warriors are) really good in transition, but you want to take away those early threes. They like to score early in the clock. Everybody got to know their assignment. The guys who play got to know tendencies and what Golden State is trying to do.’’
Besides New Orleans center Anthony Davis, Warriors guard Stephen Curry is the other early front-runner for MVP honors. He has averaged 26.4 points in the past five games.
Evans has said he wants to run, but knows there is a limit against a team like the Warriors.
“We don’t want to play that fast paced game against them,’’ Evans said. “That’s what they do and they live with it by shooting 3s. We still want to run, but we want to try and make them play against our halfcourt.’’