Monday’s matchup between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Oklahoma City Thunder featured a high-profile injury (Russell Westbrook), an almost-comeback, and, ultimately, a loss. The Pelicans attempted to claw their way back to a lead after Westbrook left the court with an ankle injury, but several missed free throws and some last minute decisions sealed their fate in the final minutes of the game.
Anthony Davis was noticeably not himself in the loss. The Pelicans center appeared uncomfortable and out of whack at several points, sometimes grimacing and fiddling with his healing right elbow.
.@NancyLieberman on #Pelicans postgame show:”I don’t know what’s wrong with Anthony Davis but there’s something wrong with him because he’s not giving that type of effort. I don’t know what’s going on, but he’s not playing with that focus…”
How bad is that elbow?
— Scott Prather (@Scott_1420) November 6, 2018
He ended the game with 20 points and 8 rebounds–nothing negligible, to be sure–but was mostly lethargic and definitely not in any kind of flow. If the elbow injury is persisting, the Pelicans may have to struggle a bit longer without him. And now the Thunder are without their star, too.
The injury bug is turning out to be merciless in the early season. Several teams’ stars have missed games already. Kawhi Leonard missed the Raptors’ game against the Utah Jazz on Monday night, and Donovan Mitchell was sidelined as well. James Harden has only just returned from injury on a Rockets team that is now missing Eric Gordon and, still, Nene.
Here’s hoping the league’s stars can heal up and get back on the court. If not, the season could end up being something entirely unexpected.