Injury bug bites New Orleans starting lineup

The Pelicans' starting lineup is limping, with 2 key players missing.

Shooting guard Eric Gordon is battling a hip contusion he suffered earlier this week in Sacramento when Kings guard Isaiah Thomas undercut Gordon. So far, Gordon has been relegated to riding an exercise bike, and there's no timetable for his return.

"He's got a deep contusion on his rear, so to speak," head coach Monty Williams said. "I've had that before and when you try to run it feels like your muscles are pulling your hip in the wrong direction, and you can't run properly.'"

Friday night for the first time, point guard Jrue Holiday will attempt to carry the team without Gordon's help.  Going into the game against the Denver Nuggets, the Pelicans were one of only four teams to have enjoyed the luxury of the same starting backcourt all season.

Teams to Have Same Starting Backcourt Every Game in 2013-14

Pelicans         Jrue Holiday & Eric Gordon

Bobcats​  Kemba Walker & Gerald Henderson

Trail Blazers​  Damian Lillard & Wesley Matthews

Raptors​  Kyle Lowry & DeMar DeRozan

Meanwhile, Center Jason Smith is plagued by a bruise knee that's the culmination of several blows, not one particular incident. He attempted to play Friday, but did not pass a physical examination after attempting to warm up.

"Bone bruises stink because you can't really see it, but you definitely feel it," Smith said. "It feels like a charley horse in your leg. The only thing that bugs me is the recurring pain under my knee."