Report: NBA stepped in to make sure Pelicans play Davis

Report: NBA stepped in to make sure Pelicans play Davis
By Reuters

09/02/2019 at 17:26Updated 09/02/2019 at 17:27

While Anthony Davis' playing status for the New Orleans Pelicans' Saturday road game against the Memphis Grizzlies is uncertain, the fact that the team is playing him at all might be due to the NBA's intervention.

The league office reached out to the Pelicans on Friday to inform the team
Davis would be expected to play, per the rule against teams resting healthy
players, according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.

There was some talk that the team might sit Davis for the final 27 games of
the season, both to protect his trade value and to angle toward a better draft
slot.

According to the report, Davis will have his minutes reduced and sit out one
game during when the team plays on back-to-back days. It was unclear whether
the Pelicans planned to rest Davis on Saturday in the first back-to-back since
his return. He said after Friday's game he would talk to coach Alvin Gentry
about it.

Davis made an awkward return to action Friday in a 122-117 home victory over
the Minnesota Timberwolves, just days after his trade demand went unfulfilled.

The six-time All-Star was on the court for the first time since making a trade
request nearly two weeks ago. He was sidelined by a finger injury at the time
of the request, then the Pelicans held him out while waiting to see if they
got a trade offer worth accepting before the Thursday deadline.

The New Orleans crowd booed Davis when he was introduced Friday, then each
time he touched the ball in the early going.

"I was surprised," Davis said. "It was definitely awkward, but it doesn't
bother me. I was just happy to be able to play the game I love."

Gradually, more and more fans started cheering Davis as he went on to score 32
points and grab nine rebounds in 25 minutes, making 11 of 15 field-goal
attempts and 10 of 11 foul shots.

Gentry left Davis on the bench during the final minutes of the game, despite
the outcome being far from decided.

--Field Level Media

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