As the NBA preseason opened up, the New Orleans Pelicans got set to take on the Houston Rockets who featured their prized free agent possession, Dwight Howard. The Pelicans brought in some new players of their own who figure to bring this team to a much different level in the 2013-2014 campaign.
After trading the rights to rookie Nerlens Noel to the Philadelphia 76ers on draft night, New Orleans received All Star point guard Jrue Holiday to make up for the loss of Greivis Vasquez — earlier traded to the Sacramento Kings. In return for Vasquez, the Pelicans got themselves an exciting score-first guard in Tyreke Evans.
Holiday and Evans combined with the athletic and offensive presence of Eric Gordon should make for quite the entertaining guard combination. Against the Rockets in their preseason debut, the team wound up with a win in the end by just a point — sure, it’s just preseason, but this felt good for Pelicans fans.
Evans, though, tweaked his left ankle in the second quarter and grimaced in pain — making fans a bit nervous already. However, X-rays were negative and Evans feels like it will be just fine.
“It’s just a sprain,” Evans said after the game according to NOLA.com. “Yeah, it definitely was (scary). Hopefully I’m back before the season starts. I just got to get treatment on it.”
Before being injured, Evans put up seven points on 3-for-5 shooting also grabbing two rebounds. The good news early on was that he looked like the same type of player the Pelicans were hoping he would revert to — an aggressive, penetrating guard with the knack to score the ball.
As he said, Evans is supposed to be back by the beginning of the regular season if his treatment goes according to plan. The only problem is that Evans being out for the preseason means his team will have to re-adjust and re-work their chemistry once he is back.
With a couple of new, exciting guards this team figures to compete for one of the final playoff spots in the West. First and foremost, they have got to make sure the chemistry is there. Evans should not be out long, which is the good news. It’s all up to the team now as the chemistry will have to wait.