The New Orleans Pelicans dropped their first game of the 2013 NBA preseason on Monday to the Miami Heat. The newly nicknamed Pelicans were 6-0 heading into the contest and had shown a ton of potential on their way to that preseason record. They still were able to hold their own against the defending champs as well, losing by a count of just 108-95.
Though it is only the preseason where you never want to read too much into things, one of the most impressive things about the job that New Orleans has done in the preseason is the fact that they’ve done it without one of their key free-agent acquisitions in guard/forward and projected sixth man Tyreke Evans.
Evans has played only 10 minutes over the course of the preseason after spraining his ankle in the team’s preseason opener against the Houston Rockets. Without Evans, the Pelicans bench has certainly been shallower and the team also hasn’t gotten much of a chance to start building a solid rapport in game action with the former Rookie of the Year.
In the Pelicans’ eighth and final game of this preseason, though, New Orleans could finally get a good look at Evans and his new teammates could get some more time on the court with him. According to a report from John Reid of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Evans was able to participate in practice on Thursday at full speed and him playing against the Orlando Magic on Friday is a legitimate possibility.
There is a bit of uncertainty heading into this season around Evans. Many people wonder how he’ll fit into a crowded backcourt in New Orleans while many also wonder if being in a new situation will allow him to come close to maximizing his potential. On Friday we may take the first step into getting some answers to our questions.