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Pelicans’ Anthony Davis out vs. Nuggets with elbow sprain

Anthony Davis, Pelicans, Nuggets

New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis has been ruled out of Monday’s tilt against the Denver Nuggets with an elbow sprain, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. The team will also be without point guard Elfrid Payton and forward Darius Miller, while Julius Randle is probable after dealing with plantar fasciitis.

Davis missed Saturday’s game against the Utah Jazz with this same injury, which resulted in Randle moving into the starting five, a move that is likely to repeat against the Nuggets. Jrue Holiday, Nikola Mirotic and Randle should get the bulk of scoring opportunities in his absence and will all see an uptick in usage, with Jahlil Okafor likely seeing a generous increase of minutes coming off the bench.

The Brow has picked up where he left off last season, nearly mirroring his season averages from 2017-18 with 27.3 points and 13.3 rebounds per game to start his 2018-19 campaign. In addition, his 3.8 blocks and 2.5 steals per contest have wreaked havoc on opponents, making him a missed presence at both ends of the floor.

The Pelicans notably lost their undefeated streak, losing to the Jazz by 21 points without Davis in the lineup — something they’ll miss once again on Monday against another up-and-coming Western Conference contender in the 4-1 Nuggets, who have had four days of rest coming into the game.

New Orleans is expected to be careful with its franchise player in Anthony Davis. However, the Pelicans know they can’t be too careful and risk falling behind in a ruthless Western Conference that has seen many teams bite the dust due to poor starts.