When the then-New Orleans Hornets acquired Ryan Anderson via a sign-and-trade with the Magic in the 2012 offseason, they expected to get the sharpshooting power forward who blossomed into a star in his final year in Orlando. For the 2012-13 season, New Orleans got exactly that from him, as the former Nets draft pick scored 19.8 points and 6.5 boards per contest on 44 percent field goal shooting and 41 percent 3-point shooting.
However, the 2013-14 campaign has not gone as smoothly for Anderson as last year’s did, even though the now-Pelicans are doing a little better as a team this go around.
Anderson missed the season’s first nine games with a broken toe suffered late in the preseason and in the game he returned to action, he dropped 26 points on efficient 10-of-16 shooting (and 6-of-10 from three). From there, things started to look up for the sharpshooter, who scored in double figures for 21 of the 22 games he played before suffering a neck/upper back injury in a scary collision during the Pelicans’ January 3rd win over the Celtics.
That injury has kept him out of the lineup since, and according to news released today, is the reason why he won’t return to the court this season. Anderson is scheduled for neck surgery on April 8th to repair the “herniated cervical disk” which is the gruesome wound he suffered in one of the more terrifying in-game injuries of the entire NBA season.
Hopefully, the surgery goes well, for both Anderson’s and New Orleans’ sakes.
If he can get back to near-100 percent for next year–and Jrue Holiday returns from a broken leg–the Pelicans can be a really scary squad, with a possible starting lineup of Holiday, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Anderson, and sophomore sensation Anthony Davis. Not one team in the entire league would want to face that lineup in a playoff series, that’s for sure.