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Summer League Preview: Pelicans vs. Nuggets


Almost more than a preview, this is a PSA - the Pelicans play today at 5pm CT against the Denver Nuggets, and you can watch it on NBATV. The last time we were paying attention to Summer League was Monday, when the Pelicans pulled off a victory against the then-undefeated Cavs, going to 2-1 and almost certainly earning a bye until the second round. However, the Summer League's first tiebreaker is the number of quarters won, weirdly. The Pelicans have only won 5 quarters out of the 12 they played, the worst among all 2-1 teams, so they're the 11th seed and play in the first round today against the team with the worst record, the Nuggets.

The storylines for the Pelicans are pretty much the same as they have been: Austin Rivers's revival, Brian Roberts fighting for a roster spot, Lance Thomas auditioning for the whole NBA, Jeff Withey playing amazing defense, Jon Brockman looking for a roster spot and flying all around the floor, and Pierre Thomas Jackson trying to limit his turnovers and fit into the offense without having practiced with the team the first four days.

The SummerNuggets, by contrast, are bereft of talent, which is perhaps why they have lost all their games by at least 12 points. Denver traded away their first-round draft pick this year, so the players of interest are pretty limited - Jordan Hamilton, Evan Fournier, Quincy Miller, and Luke Harangody, I suppose. Hamilton is in line to get some minutes with Iguodala leaving, but Evan Fournier seems to have a much higher ceiling and might wind up stealing minutes from the older, more established Hamilton. In my mind, I've tagged Quincy Miller as a bust from last year's draft. He's extremely athletic, but I can't really identify anything he does well on the court - shooting, defending, ball-handling. He hardly got to play last year, so maybe he can show something in Summer League to get minutes. And Luke Harangody is terrible, but he played for Notre Dame and is famous, so I recognize him.

Anyways, the SummerPellies play tonight, we'll have a game thread, and we'll see you there.