The short-handed New Orleans Pelicans head to Barclays Center to do battle with the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. As the home team welcomes back one of its star players, the visiting team has the misfortune of seeing player after player added to their injury list.
The New Orleans Pelicans are coming off a 123-107 debacle at the Atlanta Hawks' hands last night. It was Zion Williamson’s first game back after a three-game absence. But even his 34-point night was not enough to keep his team from suffering their third loss in four games.
At the other end, the Brooklyn Nets will have Kevin Durant back from a 23-game absence. The versatile forward was sidelined with a hamstring strain that needed time to heal completely. The Nets head into the contest after a 114-112 win over the New York Knicks on Monday. Kyrie Irving led all scorers with 40 points on 15-of-28 shooting from the field.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Brooklyn Nets Injury Update
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans injury report is getting crowded as the team feels like it’s adding names on a daily basis.
The most important player on that list is last year’s All-Star, Brandon Ingram. He has a sore toe that has sidelined him for the past four games and Ingram is considered a game-time decision.
Kira Lewis is nursing a strained right calf that might keep him from playing against the Brooklyn Nets. As of this writing, he is doubtful to play on Wednesday.
In another unfortunate turn of events, backup center Jaxson Hayes sustained an ankle injury against the Hawks that sent him to the locker room.
He played 17 minutes, but the New Orleans Pelicans center didn’t return to the game. He is considered day-to-day until further notice.
Guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker will be out for at least two weeks after suffering a moderate left high-ankle sprain during a game last weekend. He underwent an MRI on Monday and will be re-evaluated at the end of the two-week period.
Josh Hart will be sidelined for the fourth straight contest. The 6-foot-5 guard underwent surgery on a torn UCL in his right thumb and will be re-evaluated in three weeks.
Durant (left hamstring strain) is expected to play against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday. Though he’s listed as a game-time decision, there is every reason to believe that this is the game that Brooklyn Nets fans have been waiting for.
However, the Nets will continue to be cautious and will more than likely rest him in back-to-back games.
James Harden will miss the New Orleans Pelicans game with a right hamstring strain. He underwent an MRI on Tuesday that revealed the injury and he will be re-examined after 10 days. Harden sat out two games because of the same injury but aggravated it in the first quarter of the New York Knicks game on Monday.
Tyler Johnson has been sidelined indefinitely due to right knee soreness. He will undergo rehabilitation and strengthening of the knee. Brooklyn Nets coach Steve Nash said that the rehab will take around two to three weeks and that the team will update his status “as appropriate.”
Spencer Dinwiddie believes he can return before the end of the season after undergoing surgery to repair his partially torn right ACL. It will be up to the Brooklyn Nets’ doctors to clear him, but as of this time, he is likely out for the season, as earlier reported.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Brooklyn Nets Predicted Lineups
New Orleans Pelicans
If Brandon Ingram can’t play tonight against the Brooklyn Nets, James Johnson will continue to start in his place. Backing up Johnson at the small forward spot will be Wes Iwundu and Naji Marshall.
Isaiah Thomas played for the New Orleans Pelicans for the first time on Tuesday. He signed a 10-day contract with the team after injuries to Alexander-Walker and Hart. Thomas played 25 minutes and scored 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting with two rebounds and two assists.
Hayes’ injury paves the way for more playing time for Willy Hernangomez, who will be the primary backup to Steven Adams.
Irving will once again take over the point guard position vacated by the injured Harden for the New Orleans Pelicans game. Chris Chiozza will play expanded minutes behind the All-Star guard.
Joe Harris will start at shooting guard as Durant takes his spot at small forward. Bruce Brown and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot will be the reserves when Harris takes a breather, especially with Shamet sidelined.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Brooklyn Nets Predicted Starting 5s
New Orleans Pelicans:
Point Guard - Lonzo Ball l Shooting Guard - Eric Bledsoe l Small Forward - James Johnson l Power Forward - Zion Williamson l Center - Steven Adams
Point Guard - Kyrie Irving l Shooting Guard - Joe Harris l Small Forward - Kevin Durant l Power Forward - Jeff Green l Center - LaMarcus Aldridge