It seems like it came quickly, but the Pelicans' first game with their new moniker, color scheme, and jerseys will be tomorrow night. The Pelicans will hit the road after less than a week of practice to face the newly be-Howarded Rockets at 7:00pm CT. The game will be broadcast on NBATV.
The score of the game, naturally, won't matter at all. And even the offense, frankly, won't be of too much interest to dedicated Pelicans fans. The practices up until this point, mercifully, have been almost entirely focused on defense. Monty Williams said that he's "putting in sideline and baseline out of bounds plays because you got to have them to play in a game." So we should be expecting a free-flowing and unstructured offense that likely won't resemble the offense the Pelicans will eventually be playing. With those caveats, let's talk about what to look for in the game:
1) How does Monty deploy Tyreke Evans? Where and in what lineups will he be playing?
2) Will the new perimeter defenders be able to contain the Rockets and prevent penetration? The Pelicans will be missing Eric Gordon, an elite defender when he's healthy, so the perimeter defense might be worse than it will eventually be.
3) Greg Stiemsma appears to have drawn the assignment against Dwight Howard - how will one of the off-season's least-heralded signings defend the summer's highest-profile free agent?
4) After a summer filled with glowing reports of his development, just how good will Anthony Davis be?
5) What will the guard rotation look like? Will Brian Roberts be able to squeeze out some minutes? And how much will Austin Rivers play?
For the perspective on what the Rockets will be looking for, The Dream Shake has an excellent preseason primer.
What will you be looking for in the opening game of the preseason?