|2013/2014 NBA Season|
|January 26, 2014, 5:00 PM CDT|
|New Orleans, LA|
|Brian Roberts||Jameer Nelson|
|Eric Gordon||Victor Oladipo|
|Al-Farouq Aminu||Arron Afflalo|
|Anthony Davis||Tobias Harris|
|Alexis Ajinca||Glen Davis|
|Advanced Stats (2013/14)|
|92.6 (23)||Pace||94.2 (16)|
|107.8 (10)||ORtg||100.9 (26)|
|110.1 (30)||DRtg||106.7 (18)
Probably, not coincidentally, Nikola Vucevic has played only once since New Year's Day and the Magic have been forced to go with a combination of Davis and Kyle O'Quinn at their center position. Vucevic has been dealing with concussion symptons, and although he is now traveling with the team, it appears unlikely he'll suit up against the Pelicans.
Consequently, the 3 keys to the game are rather obvious:
- The Magic have been relying heavily on Nelson-Oladipo-Afflalo and the perimeter trio have combined for 48.5 points, 14.6 assists and 5.2 three's a game in January. The Pelicans need to do a good job containing this small but speedy cast by limiting their penetrations and contesting all jump shots.
- With an undersized front court, the Pelicans should dominate the points in the paint. Anthony Davis should be able to limit Harris' explosiveness and our 3-headed center monster should use their length to their advantage against Big Baby.
- In addition to the points in the paint, the Pelicans need to take care of business on the glass. Limit the Magic second chance points, while conversely, grab a healthy number of offensive rebounds for easy put-backs on the other end.
Tonight's outcome should give a good indication on how likely the Pelicans can challenge for a bottom-5 finish this season.