Pelicans put March improvement to the test vs the Clippers

Mar 22, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) dunks over Miami Heat forward Michael Beasley (8) and forward Udonis Haslem (40) during the second quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center.

Derick E. Hingle/Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

The illness and injury bugs are biting the New Orleans Pelicans hard, especially at the guard position.

The Pelicans are taking on the LA Clippers without starting point guard Brian Roberts (left knee bruise and calf strain), back up point guard Austin Rivers (upper respiratory infection) and starting shooting guard Eric Gordon (tendonitis.)

New Orleans’ back up plan: Anthony Morrow at starting shooting guard and Tyreke Evans at starting point guard.

The good news for New Orleans is that lately, Evans (albeit as a starting small forward) and starting power forward Anthony Davis have combined into a dynamic duo offensively, stretching the court for each other.

Evans entered the starting lineup on February 28, but things really started clicking after Evans logged a few games in the first rotation. The Pelicans are 7-1 since March 4, with both Evans and Davis starting.

                                Anthony Davis                  Tyreke Evans

Points                      31.6 (2nd)                            22.6 (T-8th)

FG %                      56.97% (3rd)                        55.74% (8th)

It’s not just Davis and Evans playing off of each other. Things seem to be opening up for New Orleans as a team since March 4. The Pelicans have drastically improved in a variety of statistical categories this month.

New Orleans Pelicans, Last 18 Games

                       Last 10 Games      Previous 8 Games

Record                     7-3                    0-8

PPG                       109.2                  92.4

PPG Inside Paint      52.4                   41.5

PPG Off TO’s           19.4                   12.8

FG Pct                    .496 (403/812)    .441

FTA/Gm                  28.6                    21.4

APG                         22.2                   18.6

SPG                          8.2                     5.5

BPG                          6.5                     5.5

Anthony Davis PPG         31.3                   17.9

Anthony Davis RPG         13.6                   8.9

Anthony Davis FG Pct      .575                  .500