LOS ANGELES — Anthony Davis will play limited minutes and likely will be held out in the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.
New Orleans Pelicans‘ head coach Alvin Gentry said the plan remains to utilize Davis around “20-to-23” minutes and that he will likely not see action in the fourth as the Pelicans continue to protect themselves and try to limit the risk of any potential injury to Davis for the rest of the season.
While Davis said he knows the plan the Pelicans have moving forward for him after requesting a trade in late January through his agent Rich Paul, the All-Star center said he still would love to be on the floor playing as much as he can with his teammates.
“I mean I think everybody wants to play the fourth quarter,” Davis reiterated at the Pelicans’ morning shootaround. “Obviously it is frustrating. I’ve never, like I said before, been a guy who has been able to sit out the fourth but I just play and do whatever I can, play as hard as I can for the minutes I am on the floor.”
This will be Davis’ first game at Staples Center in front of the Lakers’ fan base since Paul told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi that Davis wanted to be traded. With the Lakers a preferred destination for Davis, Lakers fans likely will shower Davis with applause on Wednesday in his last regular-season appearance against the Lakers at Staples Center this season.
“I don’t care,” Davis said when asked about the potential fan reaction as he plays here against the Lakers for the first time since Dec. 21.
Gentry said the Pelicans have been as transparent as possible with Davis about doing what the organization feels it has to do moving forward.
“He’s fine,” Gentry said. “He’s not frustrated at all. Everything that we’ve done has been totally transparent. We sit down and we discuss it and we talk to him and we try to do what we think is best for the franchise and he understands it so there’s no animosity at all toward it.”
Davis did not play last Saturday when the Pelicans beat the Lakers, 128-115, at New Orleans as he sat out the second game of a back-to-back. Gentry also said that Davis will sit out one of the upcoming games on a back-to-back set this weekend against the Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets.
“Obviously he’d like to be playing,” said Gentry, who played Davis a total of 21 minutes on Monday against Philadelphia but did not use the All-Star in the final 17 minutes of the game. “But I think we’ve got to look and see what we feel like is best for us at this particular time and move forward.”