It wouldn’t be a New Orleans Pelicans game without an inquiry into the injury report.
Just two days after declaring superstar forward Anthony Davis would miss the rest of the season with knee and shoulder injuries, the next question surrounded the availability of reserve forward Ryan Anderson.
The Pelicans’ best 3-point shooter was sidelined by a groin injury for the second consecutive game, missing Tuesday’s matchup with the Miami Heat.
Although it’s officially listed as a left groin issue, Anderson said the entire muscle on both sides is causing the problem, although the left is more susceptible to pain. But there still isn’t a long-term prognosis on whether Anderson will return this season.
“We don’t know yet,” coach Alvin Gentry said before Tuesday’s game. “We’re still trying to figure that out. The doctors are looking at it and trying to determine exactly how long it will be.”
Anderson finished the Pelicans’ 117-112 loss to Portland on Friday but wasn’t available for Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers due to the groin strain. Before Tuesday’s game, he told ESPN.com he wasn’t certain about the severity of the injury but did expect to play again this season.
In his past two games, Anderson combined for 59 points on 42 shots while converting seven 3-pointers. Without his scoring off the bench, the Pelicans were forced to rely on unproven shooters in a 109-105 victory over the Clippers, making just 33 percent of their attempts beyond the arc.
The lengthy injury report has provided at least opportunity, with point guard Jrue Holiday the lone survivor of the Pelicans’ scoring options who was still playing Tuesday night.
After missing 90 games over the previous two seasons, Holiday has relished the chance to be the Pelicans’ ironman, having not missed a game since Dec. 12. Now the Pelicans are reliant on Holiday to not only score from the point guard position but also distribute to teammates and operate the offense as the clear focal point for the first time in his Pelicans tenure.
Holiday attempted seven shots in the first eight minutes of Tuesday’s game but struggled to find much room as Miami sent extra defenders his way.
“We’ve talked about it, and we are going to have the ball in his hands at the end of the game,” Gentry said. “It’s not necessary that he has to make the big basket, but he has to make the right play for us. You know, as he continues to grow into his position there, it’s a great time for us to put the ball in his hands and see what he can do.”
By declaring Davis out for season and allowing Orlando Johnson’s 10-day contract to expire, the Pelicans could open yet another roster spot to go with the 16 players currently on the payroll.
Considering the Pelicans entered Tuesday’s game without seven players, any additional body could help provide some assistance to the thin rotation.
The only current Pelicans player on a 10-day contract is guard Tim Frazier. Bryce Dejean-Jones started his tenure on a 10-day but earned his way to a full-season deal before breaking his wrist and missing the rest of the season.
“We might look at anybody,” Gentry said. “And I’m not exaggerating. We will take a look and see if there’s anybody we might want to take a 10-day look at and we could end up bringing in someone else.”
The Pelicans’ starting lineup remained the same from Sunday to Tuesday, meaning their NBA lead of 34 unique starting groupings was steady. Holiday joined Toney Douglas, Luke Babbitt, Dante Cunningham and Omer Asik at the game’s onset. … The Pelicans entered the game with a record of 0-30 in games they scored fewer than 100 points.