After trading Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers -- which returned a crop of promising talent to New Orleans -- and winning the Zion Williamson sweepstakes, the New Orleans Pelicans' future looked bright heading into the 2019-20 season. They likely won't make the playoffs, but they now have one of the most exciting young teams in the league after bidding farewell to Davis.
Before the season even started, the Pelicans got dealt some bad news after it was announced that Williamson, the odds on favorite to win Rookie of the Year, would Jrue Holiday will miss Saturday's game against the Houston Rockets due to a left knee sprain, according to Andrew Lopez of ESPN.Without Williamson, New Orleans is still a relatively deep team, but that depth was dealt another blow as
During the Pelicans' loss to the Mavericks, there was a play in the fourth quarter where Holiday was fouled on his way to the basket and fell awkwardly to the ground, and immediately started to wince in pain and grab his left knee. While it initially looked bad from instant reaction, Holiday played the rest of the game. Lopez also reported that Holiday is considered day-to-day, and had an MRI on his knee revealing no structural damage, which is a huge sigh of relief for the Pelicans.
Holiday has been one of the most underappreciated guys in the league, despite putting up consistent numbers for the Pelicans for the last six seasons. He averaged a career-high 21.2 points, seven assists and five rebounds last season, and his defensive prowess once again earned him a spot on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team.
This year, however, Holiday has gotten off to a rocky start. In the game against Dallas specifically, Holiday shot just 18 percent from the field, and scored only eight points in 33 minutes. Most of that has to do with him being tasked with guarding Luka Doncic all night, which even for a lock-down defender like Holiday requires a lot of energy on the defensive end of the floor.
While Holiday's injury isn't severe, he will be sorely missed when the Pelicans take on the Houston Rockets Saturday night. Holiday's defense would've come in handy against James Harden, but now, Alvin Gentry and New Orleans will need to quickly revise their game plan to combat Harden, as well as Russell Westbrook.