The New Orleans Pelicans today announced that sometimes point guard, sometimes small forward Tyreke Evans underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee today. No date was yet provided for his return, but the announcement stated it would be released at a later date. The knee first became a concern to the Pelicans a week ago when head coach Alvin Gentry said they were going to have it examined “because of soreness.”
Evans has had an up and down career since winning the Rookie of the Year in 2009, but even in its lulls he’s been pretty good. He has career averages of 16.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 5.2 assists. Last season with the Pelicans, he notched 16.6, 5.3 and 6.6 respectively. While he seems to prefer playing point guard, because of his 6-6 size, coaches keep wanting to turn him into a wing, and while he’s somewhat successful as one, he’s always at his best when he’s running the show.
With new coach Alvin Gentry coming in and Jrue Holliday on a minutes restriction, this season looked like it could be an excellent chance for Evans to shine. Gentry’s fast-paced, high-flying, court stretching offense is catered to the strengths of Evans, who once he returns should thrive.
Through two preseason games in which he played just 24.5 minutes, he shot 60 percent from the field and averaged 17.5 points. That kind of quarterbacking, whether it’s as a point guard or point forward will be invaluable as a “Robin” to Anthony Davis “Batman”, so his being out for any length of time is going to hurt the Pelicans.
Expect Eric Gordon, who has his own history with knee problems, to take most of Evans’ minutes.