Anthony Davis’ left ankle sprain came at a time that is unfortunate for the New Orleans Pelicans, as he will have missed all three games of the most important road trip of the season.
The Pelicans reported that Davis sprained the ankle during shoot-around practice in preparation for Thursday night’s game against Phoenix Suns.
And the game against the Suns, in 10th place in the Western Conference and in hot pursuit of the final playoff berth, certainly would have been winnable with Davis, who also missed Friday’s game at Golden State and was ruled out of Sunday’s game at the Los Angeles Clippers.
The ankle sprain came two days after Davis appeared to have incurred a more serious injury. That came during a fall midway of the fourth quarter of the Pelicans’ previous game, a home win Tuesday against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Asked about the fall, after which he lay on the court holding his right groin, Davis said, “I feel good. I’m ready to play against Phoenix.”
Also, point guard Tyreke Evans re-injured his left ankle Thursday and could not get much lift on it in the past two games, although he will play Sunday. And with center Omer Asik also out with a strained calf, the Pelicans’ top three front court players — Davis, Asik and Ryan Anderson (sprained right MCL) — are hobbled.
That has rendered the Pelicans unable to take advantage of an opportunity.
In a battle with Oklahoma City for the final playoff berth, the injuries come with the Thunder having lost reigning MVP Kevin Durant likely until next season and with starting power forward Serge Ibaka expected to be sidelined for weeks after knee surgery.
It will be interesting to see if the injury lingers in particular with Davis, who is being mentioned among MVP candidates.
Davis tops trade value
Davis, who has gained fame for impacting games in more ways than any other NBA player, headed a recent list compiled by ESPN concerning players’ trade values to their teams.
Second was Cleveland Cavaliers small forward LeBron James, a four-time Most Valuable Player still considered by most as the best player in the world. Third among those with the most trade value was Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry, the favorite to be chosen for this season’s MVP award.
Fourth was Houston Rockets guard James Harden, who is considered to be second behind Curry in MVP consideration, with Oklahoma City triple-double machine Russell Westbrook fifth. The rest of the top 10 are, in order, Durant, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeMarcus Cousins, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, John Wall, Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard.
Fredette’s drought ends
When Jimmer Fredette sank a 3-point shot at 1:21 of the fourth quarter Friday at Golden State, it ended a 0-of-12 drought that began on Feb. 4 at home against Oklahoma City.
The stretch lasted 19 games, although Fredette did not play in eight of the games and played four seconds, six seconds and eight seconds in three others.
Before the Pelicans left on their current road trip, Fredette said he had no answer for missing the shots, would stay ready, and would continue to take the shots if open.
Decision to make
On Tuesday, guard Elliot Williams’ second 10-day contract will be up, and if the Pelicans want to retain him, he’ll have to be re-signed for the remaining 12 games.
Williams, 6-feet-4, has shown to be a long, athletic defender who also can drive to the basket. He has made $107,674 with his first two deals with the team. To keep him, the Pelicans would have to pay more than $125,000 based on a prorated amount of the league’s minimum contract.