New Orleans Pelicans

Anthony Davis leaves game in the first quarter with a knee injury

It’s a make-or-break season for the New Orleans Pelicans with everything hinging on the chemistry between Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. Having Davis leave with a knee injury in their fourth game is a bad sign.

The Pelicans have to make progress this season. They have to push for the playoffs, they have to make Cousins-Davis work, at least enough to convince Cousins to re-sign with them this offseason. All that pressure hasn’t generated much in the way of results so far.

In their first three games, the Pelicans lost to the Grizzlies by 12, and the Warriors by eight, before bouncing back to beat the Lakers by seven. In the first quarter of their fourth game, against the Portland Trail Blazers, Davis made it just five minutes before heading to the locker room after tweaking his knee.

The good news for the Pelicans is that Davis was able to walk himself to the locker room and was listed as questionable to return, instead of having his return immediately ruled out.

Davis has never really suffered a catastrophic injury but his career has undoubtedly been shaped by a slew of nagging ones. He played in 75 games last season, a career-high, after never playing in more than 68 games across his four seasons in the NBA. Altogether, he’s missed 75 games across his first five seasons in the league.

Davis was averaging 31.7 points and 17.3 rebounds per game coming into this matchup with the Trail Blazers, and leading the league in minutes played at 39.7 per game. Any extended absence likely hurts the Pelicans record but also the budding chemistry between him, Cousins and Jrue Holiday. Here’s hoping him leaving the game is a precautionary measure and he’s back on the floor at full strength sooner rather than later.

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