After another strong performance by Anthony Davis that resulted in yet another loss for the New Orleans Pelicans, coach Alvin Gentry said one guy can't do it alone.
The good news for Gentry is reinforcements are on the way.
Tyreke Evans and Norris Cole are expected to make their season debuts for the Pelicans on Tuesday night against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies.
Davis has been a one-man show for New Orleans (4-13), ranking among the league leaders with averages of 23.9 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.4 blocked shots, but his play hasn't resulted in many wins. After he had 36 points on 12-of-18 shooting while the rest of the Pelicans shot 17 of 51 in Saturday's 101-87 loss at Utah, Gentry said Davis can't be counted on to continuously carry the team.
''It can't be done by one guy,'' Gentry said. ''I don't know of a team in the league that has been able to do that. Even the great teams have other guys that contribute things that help you win games.''
Help is on the way, however, in the forms of Evans and Cole.
Expected to be Gentry's starting point guard heading into the season, Evans had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee a week before the opener. He was the Pelicans' second-leading scorer last season, averaging 16.6 points along with 6.6 assists and 5.3 rebounds.
Cole proved to be a dependable scoring option for New Orleans off the bench last season, averaging 9.9 points in 28 games after being acquired from Miami. He went down with a left ankle sprain just before the start of this season.
“There's a very good chance that both of those guys will be ready to go on Tuesday,” Gentry said of Evans and Cole. “Which obviously gives us a lot more depth and it also puts players back in their normal roles that we saw for them at the start of the season.”
Ish Smith has done a solid job of picking up the slack at the point guard position, averaging 11.9 points and 8.1 assists in 30.3 minutes, but he'll see his role diminished slightly.
Getting Evans and Cole back in the lineup comes at an opportune time as Davis had limited offensive success against Memphis in 2014-15.
Davis' 17.3 scoring average against the Grizzlies last season was his lowest against any opponent he faced more than once. Memphis also did a solid job of keeping him off the glass, limiting him to 8.3 rebounds per game.
The Pelicans, who split the four 2014-15 meetings with Memphis, are one of the league's worst teams in rebounding differential at minus-4.7 and are 1-11 when getting outrebounded.
The Grizzlies (10-8) owned a 49-41 rebounding advantage in Sunday's 92-84 victory over winless Philadelphia to improve to 5-1 when outrebounding their opponent. Their success on the glass helped offset 26 turnovers – their most since Nov. 5, 2010.
“I panic when I have two turnovers and anything over that is unlike me,” said Mike Conley, who had a season-high five turnovers. “So for our team to have 20-plus turnovers is not like us. We want to be a better team at taking care of the ball and we have to be much better than that. Our focus has to be a lot better.”
Zach Randolph had 17 points and 11 rebounds in 32 minutes after missing the previous five games due to right knee soreness. In seven games at New Orleans since 2011-12, he is averaging 10.7 points – his second lowest at any arena.