Pelicans-Hornets Preview

New Orleans Pelicans coach Monty Williams wants Anthony Davis to take more shots, and he has a plan to make it happen.

Injuries are the biggest reason the Charlotte Hornets have been turning to Kemba Walker lately.

Williams hopes his plan for Davis can help the Pelicans bounce back from a listless performance, while Walker will try to carry the Hornets to a third straight victory Wednesday night.

New Orleans (17-17) has alternated wins and losses for nine games and has been feast or famine over that stretch. The Pelicans are averaging 104.8 points in the four victories compared to 90.0 in the defeats.

They struggled offensively again Monday, falling 92-85 to Washington while taking a season-low 74 shots and committing 18 turnovers.

Williams’ solution to finding some consistency – and snap a three-game slide on the road – is getting Davis in shooting position more often. The star forward has only attempted 19 shots over the past two games, totaling 28 points.

He battled through double teams to hit 9 of 12 from the floor and finish with 21 points and 10 rebounds Monday.

"He just didn’t get enough shots," Williams said. "A lot of it was that they double-teamed him a lot. We didn’t respond to it well. He only got 12 shots, but he had the ball enough.

"Sometimes I gotta put him in a position where he might be at the elbow and he scores from there, as opposed to in the block. If he’s at the elbow, he can see the double team coming."

Walker is becoming quite familiar with the extra attention, as Charlotte (12-24) will be without center Al Jefferson for three more weeks with a strained left groin. The Hornets have split the first four games without him, winning the last two as Walker had at least 30 points in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.

The guard hit that mark while making 10 of 21 from the field in Saturday’s 98-90 win at Orlando, then connected on 12 of 26 for 33 points in a 104-95 victory in Boston on Monday.

"I know teams are going to throw multiple guys and try to make it tough on me," said Walker, who averages a team-high 18.1 points but is shooting 39.7 percent. "I just play in the flow of the game. My teammates are doing an unbelievable job for me."

Cody Zeller certainly falls into that category. The second-year forward has totaled 32 points and 14 boards over the past two games, scoring a season-high 20 while draining all eight attempts from the field Monday.

Zeller had 13 points and five rebounds off the bench in a 90-87 home win over the Pelicans on Feb. 21. Walker also scored 13 with eight assists, going 7 for 10 from the line to make up for his 3-for-11 effort from the field.

Walker wasn’t much better at New Orleans on Nov. 4, making 4 of 13 shots and finishing with 11 points in a 100-91 defeat.

Davis had 24 points and 13 rebounds with three blocks, while five other Pelicans scored in double digits in that one. He’s hoping for a similar effort Wednesday on the road, where New Orleans is 21st with 96.6 points per game.

"We have got to get our offense moving faster and push the ball," Davis said.