The Cavalry is coming…The Cavalry is coming ! The Pelicans Injury Update couldn’t be more promising for both Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans. It’s official, Jrue Holiday will return to practice this week and will suit up in his first game of the season on Friday when the Pelicans face the Portland Trail Blazers. Holiday is expected to arrive in New Orleans today but unfortunately will not join the team on the trip to face the Orlando Magic.
Holiday has been away from the team the entire season caring for his wife , former soccer star Lauren Holiday, who is recovering from the birth of the couple’s first child and surgery to remove a benign tumor from her brain. Anthony Davis was the first to celebrate by saying “It’s good news, they are two big pieces to our team,” when asked about the return to the New Orleans Pelicans of starting point guard Jrue Holiday as well as the progress of Tyreke Evans who is also scheduled to be available soon. At least getting Holiday back will be one less on the Pelicans Injury Update. Unfortunately, Quincy Pondexter remains out after missing all of last season following two left knee surgeries.
While away from the team, Tim Frazier has filled in as point guard and averaged 11.4 points per game along with nearly 8 assists. Of course, The Pelicans will appreciate the instant boost of offense Holiday brings who averaged nearly 17 points per game in the 2015-2016 season. This brings a perfect opportunity to improve bench production with Tim Frazier reverting to the backup role and coming into the game with the 2nd team. Frazier’s best games of the season were against the Golden State Warriors where he scored 21 points and against the Milwaukee Bucks scoring 20 points on almost 60% Field Goal shooting. If Buddy Hield continues in the bench role, the 2nd team could provide the support necessary for the Pelicans bringing in both Frazier and Hield simultaneously.
Pelicans General Manager Dell Demps and Head Coach Alvin Gentry have yet to determine how they will utilize Holiday on his return including whether he will return to the starting lineup immediately or play off the bench until he gets his conditioning on track. Gentry added “I just know we won’t play him 35 minutes the first game back, we’re not going to do anything like that. I think we’ve got to be smart about it. He’s been working out twice a day. He’s in great shape. There’s a big difference in being in great shape and being in basketball shape. We just have to make sure he gets to basketball shape.” Nevertheless, this is awesome news for the New Orleans Pelicans organization.
Tyreke Evans underwent surgery in February to replace cartilage in three areas of his right knee and was expected to be out 8-10 months. Evans has since returned to non-contact activity at Pelicans practice which should also be promising news for the Pels.