Ticket prices continue to soar for what NBA fans thought would be the first time to witness LeBron James and Anthony Davis on the court together in New Orleans since the Pelicans all-star forward’s public trade demands nearly a month ago.
For those fans, Saturday’s matchup with the Lakers at the Smoothie King Center will be quite a letdown. The Pelicans announced Saturday afternoon on Twitter that Davis will sit out tonight’s game with James’ Lakers due to rest. This is coming off the 2012 No. 1 overall pick’s 15-point, eight-rebound performance in 20 minutes Friday night in a 126-111 loss in Indianapolis against the Pacers.
On Thursday, when asked what the plan would be for Davis’ minutes after the All-Star break, considering the public saga around his trade demand and his bruised shoulder suffered Feb. 14 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry would only commit to playing Davis in Friday’s game and said the organization would continue to develop a fluid plan moving forward.
Later that evening, the team’s interim general manager Danny Ferry elaborated, telling reporters, “The league rules made it clear Anthony has to play. As we’ve done previously, we will continue to follow their lead, but we also will be focused on the future of the team.
“You will see a reduction in Anthony’s minutes.”
Ferry explained Davis would likely play 20-25 minutes per game the rest of the season, but the team has always claimed that back-to-back games would be decided as the season went along. When asked after Friday’s game whether he would play Saturday, Davis told reporters he was uncertain of the team’s plan.
Gentry also said Thursday that guard E’Twaun Moore would only play one of the two games in this current back-to-back stretch coming off the break. He finished with 12 points, one rebound and one assist in 20 minutes of action Friday and will sit Saturday as well for rest. Darius Miller is also doubtful with a right ankle sprain after missing Friday’s loss.
Veteran guard Jrue Holiday will also see a reduction in his minutes moving forward the rest of the season, due to carrying close to the heaviest load in the league this season. He’s averaging 36.2 minutes per game this season but played just 25 in Friday’s loss, where he scored 14 points to go with seven rebounds and four assists.