The New Orleans Pelicans are struggling at the bottom of the Western Conference this NBA season. With the absence of star player Anthony Davis in the roster, it was initially expected that the Tyreke Evans squad will suffer in the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers. However, the 111-114 win of the DeAndre Jordan team had been hard fought - with the New Orleans Pelicans unexpectedly aggressive and efficient in the hardwood court.
The back injury of Davis moved the sixth man Ryan Anderson in the starting lineup. Surprisingly, the small forward managed to dominate in the game against the Blake Griffin squad - even going as far as pushing for overtime. The match against the Los Angeles Clippers is the fourth time Anderson started for the New Orleans Pelicans this NBA season. At the moment, he averages roughly 31 minutes on the hardwood court. However, Anderson's minutes are expected to go up with Davis' getting sidelined.
"I think he's still sore," Gentry said of Davis' condition, according to an official press release. The New Orleans Pelicans head coach added, "We've got to line up and compete (without Davis), and someone else is going to have to step up." Gentry also clarified that Davis' back injury is "just a bruise." He added, "He [Davis] feels good, but in certain positions or movements that he makes, he gets [a] sharp pain. It's not worth the risk of putting him out there if he's not fully ready to go."
Meanwhile, an outstanding performance in the match against the Los Angeles Clippers threw a shadow over the rumors of Anderson getting traded soon. To further tamp down the speculations, Alvin Gentry himself slammed the rumors involving the small forward. While the New Orleans Pelicans head coach acknowledged the existence of the NBA trade rumors, he affirmed that Anderson is an essential part of the team's roster.
''Everyone knows that Ryan's name is going to be out there,'' said Gentry, according to The Times Picayune. The head coach added, 'We have made not one call about trading Ryan, nor will we. So those are the kind of things that's going to happen that people are going to inquire about. Once you've been in the league for a couple of years, everyone knows that's part of it.''
Nonetheless, Gentry disclosed that other NBA teams have approached them regarding Anderson's availability. He said, ''We've talked about a few things, people have talked to us about a few things. But nothing that we felt was beneficial to our team. We like the guys we have here. I still think that we're going to have a year. As we get healthier and everyone understands what we're asking them, I think we're going to be fine."