Player News - Pelicans

Date: Team: Pos:

Nikola Mirotic (right ankle) isn't listed on the Pelicans' injury report for Friday's game.

He was expected to have an MRI on Thursday after rolling his previously injured right ankle, so maybe New Orleans just doesn't have the results yet. If he is forced to miss any time we'd expect Julius Randle to once again step into the starting lineup.
Nov 15 - 6:10 PM

Elfrid Payton (sprained right ankle) is questionable to play vs. the Knicks on Friday.

Payton is "really close" to returning, in the words of coach Alvin Gentry, and was ruled out shortly before tip-off on Wednesday. His return should push Jrue Holiday back to SG with Wes Johnson going back to the bench. We'll know more after Friday's shootaround.
Nov 15 - 6:02 PM

Nikola Mirotic (right ankle) expects to have an MRI on Thursday.

Mirotic is "hopeful it is nothing serious" but will get tests to rule out anything more than a sprain. He fell late in Wednesday's game and tweaked the same ankle he sprained recently that cost him two games. New Orleans has a back-to-back set looming on Friday and Saturday, so owners should prepare for the possibility he misses those games. Julius Randle played big minutes as a starter in his previous absence and would likely do so again.
Nov 14 - 11:48 PM

Ian Clark failed to score in 13 minutes vs. Minnesota, going 0-of-3 from the field with two rebounds.

If you anticipated Clark stepping into the void left by Elfrid Payton (ankle), you were sorely disappointed. He only has three double-digit scoring games this season and neither he nor Tim Frazier have been worth owning in Payton's absence -- added to which, Payton is on the verge of returning.
Nov 14 - 11:12 PM

Solomon Hill got another DNP-CD on Wednesday.

That's six straight for Hill, who averaged 18.9 minutes in October but has fallen out of the picture with healthy bodies returning for New Orleans.
Nov 14 - 11:10 PM

Julius Randle had three points, three rebounds and five turnovers in just 14 minutes off New Orleans' bench on Wednesday.

He averaged 36.5 minutes during a pair of starts for Nikola Mirotic (ankle) recently, but Mirotic was back tonight. Randle's minutes are way up in three starts but he's actually scoring more points (18.2 per game) with better shooting (58.0%), more assists (2.5) and more steals (0.7) in a reserve role, and tonight's line was fluky. Plus, Mirotic appeared to aggravate his ankle late in this game so more starts could be coming for Randle.
Nov 14 - 11:07 PM

Nikola Mirotic (right ankle) limped off near the end of Wednesday's game, finishing with 16 points, 10 rebounds and two 3-pointers in 34 minutes.

Before the game, coach Alvin Gentry said "[Mirotic] is fine. And he's ready to go," and mentioned that there wouldn't be a minutes restriction. He fell after defending an Andrew Wiggins dunk, but hopefully his late exit was mostly a precaution. We'll list him as questionable for Friday's game in Portland and should know more Thursday afternoon.
Nov 14 - 11:01 PM

E'Twaun Moore stayed hot on Wednesday with a season-high 31 points on 13-of-23 shooting, including a 4-of-8 mark from downtown.

Moore is now a combined 33-of-51 from the field (64.7%) in his past three games. Elfrid Payton (ankle) was out again and Moore is enjoying increased playing time at SG in his absence. He chipped in four boards, four assists and one steal tonight, but owners should prepare for a dip in production since Elfrid Payton (ankle) is "very close" to returning and even warmed up prior to this game. Still, you can't fault the recent numbers.
Nov 14 - 11:01 PM

Elfrid Payton (ankle) will not play vs. the Wolves on Wednesday.

He was a game-time call for this game, but coach Alvin Gentry said Payton is "really close" and he didn't want to take any chances. Payton's ankle problems occurred in two different games last month and he's been out since Oct. 27, but he should be back soon. Wes Johnson, Darius Miller, E'Twaun Moore and Ian Clark will see a few extra minutes.
Nov 14 - 6:38 PM

Elfrid Payton (right ankle) will be a game-time call for Wednesday's matchup with the Timberwolves.

Payton has spent the past eight games on the sidelines, so if he is able to get out there tonight, he'll be dealing with a minutes limit. Payton was able to go through shootaround, but the Pelicans want him to test his ankle again during his pregame routine before an official decision is made. He'd likely start if he plays, which would result in Wes Johnson returning to the second unit. Stay tuned.
Nov 14 - 2:44 PM

Nikola Mirotic (ankle) will play Wednesday vs. the Timberwolves.

He only missed two games with the ankle issue, so he shouldn't be dealing with any sort of minutes restrictions tonight. With Mirotic back, Julius Randle will likely return to the second unit, and E'Twaun Moore's usage will take a bit of a hit. Go ahead and get him active.
Nov 14 - 2:07 PM

Elfrid Payton (ankle) is being listed as questionable for Wednesday's game against the Timberwolves.

Payton has missed the past eight games with this ankle issue, and while there was some optimism that he'd be able to get back to the court last week, that obviously didn't go as planned. If Payton is able to go through shootaround, then maybe he'll be able to get back out there, but if not, Wes Johnson will be looking at another start. Stay tuned.
Nov 13 - 5:30 PM

Nikola Mirotic (ankle) and Elfrid Payton (ankle) are questionable to play Wednesday against the Timberwolves.

Mirotic has missed the past two games, which has resulted in Julius Randle moving into the starting lineup and E'Twaun Moore has been more involved on the offensive end of the floor. It'll be more of the same if he can't give it a go on Wednesday, and Wes Johnson should draw another start if Payton is out.
Nov 13 - 5:28 PM

Julius Randle finished Monday's win over Toronto with 17 points, 12 rebounds and four assists in 35 minutes of action.

The double-double is Randle's second in as many games, as he's taken full advantage of the opportunity to start in place of the injured Nikola Mirotic (ankle). The fifth-year pro shot 7-for-12 from the field against Toronto, and in the two games he's started Randle averaged 19.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in 36 minutes per game. Randle's been quite productive in his first season with the Pelicans, whether it's been as a starter or as the sixth man.
Nov 12 - 10:13 PM

Jrue Holiday racked up 29 points, 14 assists, three rebounds, one steal and three three-pointers in 39 minutes against the Raptors Monday night.

Holiday's double-double is his fifth of the season and his second in New Orleans' last three games. With Elfrid Payton (ankle) out of the lineup Holiday's served as the Pelicans' primary playmaker in the starting lineup, and he's dished out nine assists or more in seven of the eight games that Payton has missed. Holiday was efficient from a shooting standpoint Monday night, going 12-for-19 from the field (3-for-7 3PT; 2-for-4 FT). He and E'Twuan Moore outplayed Toronto's Kyle Lowry and Danny Green, who combined to score seven points on 2-for-13 shooting.
Nov 12 - 10:04 PM


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