Metairie, La. -- Having Rajon Rondo back in the mix, is a welcomed line-up change for the Pelicans, who have been without the veteran point guard since early October when he had hernia surgery. Monday he played 5 minutes, and Wednesday he entered the starting line-up and played 14 minutes, finishing with 4 points, 2 rebounds, 8 assists and a steal.
"That's what he does," said Pelicans forward DeMarcus Cousins. "He makes the game easy for everybody. The energy in the game was through the roof while he was on the floor. Having a floor general like that and missing him for the beginning of the season, it hurt us as a team but once we get him at 100% I think we'll be a totally different team."
"It's awesome," said Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday. "I wanted him to play in the second half. I was begging him to play but obviously his health is more important. But it was fun. The pace of the game picked-up-- the way he moves the ball, the way he kinda of pushes the tempo-- is really fun."
At practice Thursday, Coach Alvin Gentry said he's expecting Rondo to play around 20 to 24 minutes against the Nuggets, but will adjust as needed going forward until he's 100%.
"We don't want to do anything crazy and then we also have to monitor from the standpoint that we're going to be in Denver also," Gentry said. "We have to take a look and make sure. It's a little bit different when you're playing in Denver with the altitude and all of that, so we'll take a look and see how he's doing."