Pistons-Pelicans Preview

Already without Anthony Davis, the New Orleans Pelicans suffered

another key loss their last time out.

While Tyreke Evans’ absence won’t help matters, the rest of the

team figures to have fresh legs following four days off.

Evans will miss the first of several games as New Orleans tries

to avoid a third consecutive defeat Wednesday night against the

visiting Detroit Pistons.

The Pelicans (9-10) have dropped two of three since losing Davis

to a broken hand after Friday’s 109-95 loss to Oklahoma City.

Things aren’t about to get any easier for New Orleans, which saw

Evans go down with a sprained left ankle in the third quarter.

Evans, averaging 11.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists in

24.9 minutes off the bench, could miss as much as two weeks. The

Pelicans are 8-1 when he scores at least 13 points.

“Obviously it’s really tough to have Tyreke and Anthony out,”

forward Ryan Anderson told the team’s official website. “Tyreke’s

been playing great lately. He’s been really great off the bench,

bringing a ton of energy and bringing what we need, a spark.

“It’s hard, but at the same time, that happens. This is a sport

where it’s incredibly common for somebody to be hurt. We have to

prepare for that. We want him to get back as soon as possible, but

he’s got to heal and recover.”

New Orleans has followed a four-game home winning streak with

three consecutive losses there. The Pelicans, who allowed the

Thunder to shoot 50.6 percent, are 3-9 when allowing 100 points or

more.

“It was a tough loss,” Anderson said. “We’ve just got to be

better and bring it the next game. I think it’s huge for this team

to have these couple days to reflect and figure out how we can get

better and improve. … We have to get in the gym and work on the

things we need to and get better.”

New Orleans has won six straight against Eastern Conference

opponents while averaging 116.5 points, 13.5 more than its season

mark. While the Pelicans have also posted four consecutive home

wins over the Pistons (10-12), they aren’t expecting anything to

come easy.

“They’re big guys. They’re a big-time post team,” center Jason

Smith said of Detroit, averaging an NBA best-tying 50.6 points in

the paint. “(Greg) Monroe is definitely a physical player. (Andre)

Drummond – big body, athletic young player. It’s just something

that we have to know going in. We have to have a certain mindset

that it’s going to be a battle.”

The Pistons are also looking to avoid a third consecutive loss

after falling 121-94 to Minnesota on Tuesday. Monroe was limited to

10 points and a season-low two rebounds while Drummond posted eight

and eight.

Detroit, which surrendered its most points this season, made 8

of 16 free throws while the Timberwolves went 28 of 33.

“We have to go back to the drawing board, we have a game

tomorrow so we have to get ready for that one,” said rookie guard

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, who scored a season-high 16. “We have to

just let this one go and get ready for the next game.”

Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings is averaging 24.0 points on

50.0 percent shooting over the last three games, well above his

season marks of 17.2 and 40.2.

Detroit has outscored opponents by an average of 11.5 points

during a four-game road winning streak, its longest since taking

five straight in 2007-08.