DENVER — New Orleans guard Eric Gordon sat out his seventh straight game, the Pelicans’ 137-107 loss to Denver on Wednesday night, but a return to the lineup before the end of the season has not been ruled out.
Gordon left the game against Atlanta on March 21 after tendinitis in his left knee flared up. Tyreke Evans has become the primary point guard in Gordon’s absence, but Gordon, the former Indiana Hoosiers star, might make a comeback in the final seven games.
“It’s game by game right now,” Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. “We don’t consider shutting anybody down, so right now it’s game by game.”
Gordon has battled injuries since coming to New Orleans in the trade that sent Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Clippers before the 2011-12 season.
Gordon’s injury was a bump in an otherwise positive March for the Pelicans. Although they were eliminated from the playoff race, they were 9-7 and had a five-game winning streak in the final 10 days.
Williams wants to build on that momentum, despite losing their last two games heading into Wednesday’s game against Denver.
“March was a great month for us to show the growth on our team,” Williams said. “Obviously you don’t want to leave that there. you want to go into April with the same kind of effort, energy and consistency we had in the month of March.”
The final eight games will be a good test of that momentum. The Pelicans’ last six games are against teams headed to the postseason, including two each with Houston and Oklahoma City.
That shouldn’t matter, Williams said.
“A lot of teams are going through the same deal, not playing in the playoffs, but you want your team to go into the summer feeling good about themselves,” he said. “We’ve had a number of players who have played well all year long, through a lot of adversity, but we want to finish strong.
Forward Anthony Davis summed it up in one short declaration.
“We want to win all eight games,” he said.