The New Orleans Pelicans (1-1) were outplayed by the Cleveland Cavaliers (0-2) in a 113-100 win Sunday, but that doesn’t mean they are without their flaws.
They are without the All-Star starting point guard, who missed the first half of the game with a sprained left knee.
Anthony Davis was limited by an ankle injury, and Tyreke Evans was also out with a strained left hamstring.
The Pelicans are 3-2 without Davis, but they have lost five straight.
The other problem is the team is without All-Pro guard Tyrele Cotton, who is out for the season with a torn meniscus.
New Orleans could be in a bind if Davis doesn’t return.
He has been a key part of the offense, averaging 17.8 points, 5.3 assists and 4.1 rebounds in 11 starts.
New coach Monty Williams has also said Davis needs to improve in certain areas.
He’s shooting 49.3 percent, but he’s also averaging 18.5 points and 5.4 assists while going 7 of 12 from 3-point range.
New point guard Carl Landry has played well in the past, scoring 26.6 per game on 51.4 percent shooting.
He and Landry, who averages 16.1 points and 7.1 assists, could be a key combination to help the Pelicans win the East.
The Cavaliers also are without starters Tyronn Lue and John Wall, who have missed the last two games with injuries.
The only other starter injured is rookie shooting guard Myles Turner, who was limited to eight games with a sore left ankle.
He will likely miss at least the next two weeks.
The NBA’s regular-season schedule starts Sunday.