Bad news continues to pile up for the New Orleans Pelicans

Jose Alvarado, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jose Alvarado, New Orleans Pelicans. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Yesterday, the New Orleans Pelicans provided some updates on the status of some of their injured players.  And before you ask, no, we don’t have a definitive timetable for the return of Zion Williamson from his strained hamstring.

But it gets worse. Not only did we not get some good news on that front, but we also found out we will be without two of our key rotation players for at least a few weeks.

That’s right. Jose Alvarado (tibia) and Larry Nance Jr.  (ankle) will both be on the shelf for at least a few weeks. For those keeping score, that means that the Pelicans – who are in the midst of a deeply-competitive playoff race out West – will be entering into battle without their best overall player (Williamson), most versatile defender (Nance), and certified bench energizer (Alvarado).

The losses of two of their best defenders in Nance and Alvarado is especially crushing since the team has made it a point to double down on defense in the absence of their best offensive player in Williamson. Since Williamson went down on January 2nd, the team has been one of the worst offenses in the league, ranking 25th in Offensive Rating during that time.

We saw from their games against the New York Knicks and Orlando Magic that Coach Willie Green will lean heavily on the services of Willy Hernangomez and Jaxson Hayes to fill the void left by Nance’s absence. Meanwhile, with Alvarado now down, one must wonder if this injury will open the door to some playing time for rookie Dyson Daniels, who has hardly played since returning from his own ankle injury just two games ago (totaling just over four minutes in that time).

In other news, both Josh Richardson (quad) and Jonas Valanciunas (calf) are listed as questionable for tonight’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Not having these two available would be a crushing blow, as the Blazers are one of the teams they are competing with for playoff seeding, and New Orleans is already in the middle of a four-game losing streak.

Hopefully, their presence on the injury report is simply procedural; and the two starters are ultimately cleared to play tonight, as the team can ill afford to add to their ever-growing injury list.

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