The injury bug bites the New Orleans Pelicans yet again.

In a nationally televised ESPN road game versus the Dallas Mavericks, the New Orleans Pelicans were grinding, exchanging lead changes, and playing respectable basketball. That all changed at the 4:13 mark of the second quarter when All-Star Anthony Davis sprained his left shoulder. In only 12 minutes, he had a game-high 9 rebounds, along with 6 points and 2 blocks.

Once Davis left the floor, New Orleans began to fall apart. Poor defense, a bevy of turnovers, and a lack of confidence plagued the injury-ridden Pels. As a result, the Mavericks routed New Orleans, 108-89.

Unfortunately, injuries have become the theme of this season for the Pelicans. Starting point guard Jrue Holiday, an All-Star last season, has been out since January when he fractured his tibia. Starting Center Jason Smith only played 31 games before a knee injury forced him into season-ending surgery. Ryan Anderson, one of the league's best 3 point shooters, injured his spine on January 3rd, and will likely miss the rest of the year with a herniated disk. He was averaging about 20 points a game before the injury.

Couple the deteriorating health with a lack of experience, questionable lineup rotations, and a lack of time to develop floor chemistry, and the season has been a rough one for the Pelicans.

At 23-34, with only 25 games left, New Orleans will be hard pressed to win very many those games, especially if Davis misses time. The extent of his shoulder sprain is unknown at this time.

New Orleans will play at Phoenix Friday night in a nationally televised game on ESPN. Tip-off is set for 9:30. Here's to hoping the injury bug doesn't follow them to the desert.