Injury bug bites Pelicans again in Summer League
Apparently, there may be a bit of a curse to have been a draft pick of the New Orleans Pelicans in 2022.
All three of those chosen in the process are highly thought of by team executives and many observers.
All three are now likely done with the NBA Las Vegas Summer League just two games in.
There was good news some good news Tuesday.
The New Orleans Pelicans erased the subpar performance from their first game against Portland by drilling Atlanta 101-73 Tuesday.
Trey Murphy continued to shine, pumping in 30 points with six rebounds.
Murphy was 10 of 18 from the field and that included 3 of 6 from three-point range. Murphy has scored 53 points in the two games.
Daeqwon Plowden scored 16 points off the bench, guard Jared Harper had 14 points while center Tyrique Jones had 11 points and nine rebounds.
The good news was buried by more bad news.
First, top draft pick Dyson Daniels was shut down by an ankle injury in game one and he will not play again in the Summer League.
Then, E.J. Lidell suffered a right knee injury Tuesday night and it did not look good.
It was a shame on many fronts, including the fact that Liddell, after a less than impressive debut against the Blazers, was off to a great start with six points, four rebounds and two assists in 12 minutes as Liddell had made all three field goal attempts.
Liddell has a reputation as a tough guy and great competitor and that was evident Tuesday.
After initially suffering the injury, Liddell elected to return to action before he went down in pain again.
New Orleans Summer League head coach Jarron Collins called it a knee sprain but the severity will be revealed soon.
Adding to the misery index and bad luck, Karlo Matkovic’, the other second round draft pick of the Pelicans, was also out Tuesday after suffering a cut hand which required stitches. Matkovic’ incurred the injury in the Blazers game as well.
Jose Alvarado has not played yet in the Summer League games.
Based on the way things are going, perhaps that is a good thing.
Based on the way things are going, perhaps it would be a consideration to shut down Murphy.
While I jest, the concept is not far-fetched.
The Summer League is an exercise in taking a look at young players and a showcase for other long shot players to possibly get a professional opportunity, if not with an NBA team than with a G-League squad.
As I have stated many, many times, the Summer League is not an accurate predictor of success, by any measure.
The Summer League is about development and about keeping the brand out there, in the news, providing fans with some raw meat to chew on about the game they love.
Next up for the Pelicans is a date with the Wizards on Wednesday.
Here is hoping the streak of a significant injury to a player ends abruptly and decisively Wednesday.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…