Anthony Davis is back with the New Orleans Pelicans, but the drama meter still is pointing toward high. Davis faced jeers from the home fans in his first contest since the trading deadline passed - his request to be dealt wasn't granted - but the atmosphere likely will be less adversarial when the Pelicans visit the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.
Davis recorded 32 points and nine rebounds in 25 minutes of Friday's 122-117 victory over Minnesota in his first game since suffering a finger injury on Jan. 18, and he addressed his situation after the contest. "I'll be here for the rest of the year," Davis told ESPN in a postgame interview. "My job is to play basketball, and that's all I want to do." Memphis had its own trading-deadline drama as it dealt long-time center Marc Gasol to Toronto and kept stalwart Mike Conley. The Grizzlies received center Jonas Valanciunas, guards C.J. Miles and Delon Wright and a 2024 second-round draft pick for Gasol, and also acquired guard Avery Bradley from the Los Angeles Clippers for forward JaMychal Green and guard Garrett Temple.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FS New Orleans, FS Southeast (Memphis) LINE: Grizzlies -1.5
ABOUT THE PELICANS (25-31): Davis sat out the entire fourth quarter on Friday and made it sound like a surprise to him during the ESPN interview, but coach Alvin Gentry said the two discussed the minutes situation prior to the contest. "A.D. and I talked about that earlier - I was not going to have him, first game back, playing 38, 40 minutes," Gentry told reporters after the win. "We talked about him playing 22-to-25 minutes, and that's why he didn't go back in the game. I thought he played well the minutes he was in there. He was typical Anthony." Davis stated that he was fine with the atmosphere. "It was fun being back out here, all the boos, it was fun for me," he said.
ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (22-34): Conley is looking forward to having his focus be solely on basketball as he admitted to having concentration issues prior to Thursday's game in which he was just 4-of-15 shooting while scoring 15 points in a 117-95 loss at Oklahoma City. "After they put my name out there, if y'all do it, y'all do it," Conley told reporters of the team shopping him. "But this is all I know. Memphis is all I know. I didn't necessarily ask for any of this to begin with, but I also understood our situation. I'd be one of the players that could hold some value in the trade market. Me being a pro, I just took that and understood it." The star point guard was rumored to be a trade target of Utah, and there were reports saying that was a destination of which Conley wasn't fond.
1. The Pelicans are 2-1 against the Grizzlies this season, with the victories coming by 20 and 19 points.
2. New Orleans C Jahlil Okafor (ankle) sat out Friday's contest but could return against the Grizzlies.
3. Memphis C Joakim Noah (heel) likely will miss his third straight game.
PREDICTION: Grizzlies 104, Pelicans 97 Bet Now
See all the NBA basketball Predictions