Just when the New Orleans Pelicans seem to be shaking off another losing streak and putting themselves in position to challenge for a playoff spot, they lose Eric Gordon for at least a month, which doesn’t sound like such a surprising incident considering everything that’s going on for them this season.
Gordon fractured the ring finger on his shooting hand, which means four to six weeks out of action for him. Gordon might not be the most efficient of players, but he does score 14.9 points per game, and that means more minutes for everyone in the backcourt: Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday and Norris Cole, although leaves the Pelicans quite short when it comes a “true” shooting guard to fill the position, which means even Toney Douglas might start getting minutes.
The Pelicans beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 114-99 in a battle of teams trying to hop on the last train towards competing for a playoff spot, although it still leaves New Orleans four games behind the 8th spot Utah Jazz. They’ve won three of their last four, but now with another setback, even more nights from Anthony Davis such as this one (35 points, 7 rebounds) might not be enough for a team that continues to struggle on defense and hasn’t always lived up to the promises on offense.
The Pelicans started the season with just one win in their first 12 games, and have been trying to make up for that awful start ever since. They’re 4-5 in January as consistency continues to avoid them, while trades (especially Omer Asik, but everything besides Davis is on the table) are being considered to try and somehow make a change significant enough that it would catapult them past the Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings and Portland Trail Blazers as the 9-10-11 teams in the West right now. With Gordon out, it’s going to get a lot more difficult making up for that terrible start.