The New Orleans Pelicans were one of several teams around the NBA that were dealt some bad news in the past few days. On Sunday against the New York Knicks, the Pelicans lost star second-year power forward Anthony Davis to a fracture in his hand and his timetable to return still remains uncertain as of now.
Despite an inconsistent start from the Pelicans as a team, Davis has been the picture of big-time production and consistency. For the year, the big man had averaged 18.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 3.6 blocks in 33.6 minutes per game on solid 49.8 percent shooting before the injury. In just his second year in the league, Davis was looking every bit like a star.
The Pelicans played their first full game without Davis on Monday night, though, and it turned out to be a wild one. Matched up with the Chicago Bulls, both teams kept fighting which resulted in the game going three overtimes. Though it was Jrue Holiday that converted the game-winning and-one, it was Ryan Anderson that shined without Davis on the floor.
In a stunning 57 minutes of time on the floor, Anderson put up 36 points, six rebounds and one block while shooting 12-20 from the field and a blazing 7-11 from long-range. Anderson’s ability to knock down jumpers and to stretch defenses was a huge reason why New Orleans was able to be in this game against Chicago.
On Sunday when Davis went out, Anderson also had a big night as he finished with 31 points and six boards in that victory as well. He’s obviously a vastly different player than Davis, but he has the offensive ability to help keep this team afloat and competitive while their young star is out. If he keeps playing at this level, the Pelicans could still be in good shape whenever Davis does get back on the floor from his injury.