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Alvin Gentry admits it will be a ‘challenge’ with both Nikola Mirotic, Julius Randle out

Pelicans, Alvin Gentry, Nikola Mirotic, Julius Randle

The New Orleans Pelicans take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, and the team is going to be without stretch forward Nikola Mirotic and power forward Julius Randle, something Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry is not looking forward to.

Both Mirotic and Randle are dealing with ankle sprains which will force them to miss some time. Alvin Gentry says it’s going to be a challenge for the club to be without two of its best players.

“It’s a challenge with them, so obviously it’s going to be a challenge without them,” Gentry said of missing both Mirotic and Randle simultaneously for the first time this season, via Scott Kushner of The Advocate. “You just have to play games. That’s why they play the game. We played Boston without three of their starters and four of their top six guys (which the Celtics won 113-100) and that’s why you have guys on the roster and it’s why you try to get as deep as you possibly can.”

In 25 games this season, Mirotic is averaging 17.4 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game while shooting 45.2 percent from the field, 34.8 percent from beyond the arc 84.1 percent from the free-throw line. He has made the most 3-pointers on the team this year, hitting 63.

Randle, meanwhile, has been one of the best bench players in the NBA. The 6-foot-9 forward is averaging 19.3 points and 9.5 rebounds per contest and shooting 55.3 percent from the floor and 32.7 percent from the 3-point line. The offensive burden is going to be bigger than usual for superstar Anthony Davis on Wednesday.