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According to Jim Eichenhofer of the Pelicans’ website, Davis was ruled out for the remainder of the contest with the left knee injury. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski noted Davis would undergo an MRI in Portland to determine the severity of the injury after the big man bumped knees with Trail Blazers center Moe Harkless.
Davis, 24, remains the cornerstone of the Pelicans organization alongside center DeMarcus Cousins. Trading for Cousins last season was supposed to help fuel a playoff push for the Pelicans, though the team instead went through an adjustment period.
“It’s a lot of new looks for me and [Davis],” Cousins acknowledged in March, per Scott Kushner of the New Orleans Advocate. “We are used to seeing double and triple teams every night. Now, we are getting single coverage and it’s a lot of weird defenses being thrown at us, because we have similar skill sets and us being able to do things we do on the floor. It’s hard for teams. So, we are seeing different looks and just adjusting.”
The adjustment has been just as bumpy for the Pelicans this season, as the team has started with a 1-2 record.
Losing Davis long-term would certainly be a major blow to the Pelicans. Few players are more talented on both ends of the court, and while the superstar was healthier last year than in seasons past—coming into the 2016-17 campaign, he had never played more than 68 games—it’s still concerning that Davis consistently deals with injuries.
Nonetheless, Davis continues his ascent to elite status, averaging 31.7 points, 16.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks a night in the first three games. The ‘Brow remains one of the NBA‘s most dominant young stars, and it’s hard to imagine the Pelicans making a playoff run this season if he’s unable to stay healthy.
While he’s out of action, Cheick Diallo will likely see his role expand significantly.