|2014 NBA Preseason|
|October 14, 2014, 7:00 PM CT|
|Smoothie King Center - New Orleans, LA|
|WWL 105.3 FM - CSN Houston|
|Jrue Holiday||Patrick Beverley|
|Eric Gordon||Trevor Ariza|
|John Salmons||Kostas Papanikolaou|
|Anthony Davis||Terrence Jones|
|Omer Asik||Joey Dorsey|
|Advanced Stats (2013/14)|
|94.51 (22)||Pace||98.81 (5)|
|104.7 (13)||ORtg||108.6 (4)|
|107.3 (25)||DRtg||103.1 (12)|
The New Orleans Pelicans play their first game in the newly renovated Smoothie King Center tonight. Their opponent, the Houston Rockets, played just last night against the Phoenix Suns in Houston. Back-to-backs in the preseason might be the worst idea in the history of basketball ideas.
The game will not be televised in New Orleans (thanks again Fox Sports New Orleans!) for your viewing pleasure. However, Houston is sending their own broadcast team to the Crescent City, so a live stream should be available on the internet. In case you are wondering, NBATV will be showing the Cavs-Bucks preseason game. This game, like every other Cavs preseason game, is being nationally broadcast. No, seriously.
Houston started an interesting lineup last night and The Dream Shake believes James Harden and Dwight Howard are likely to sit out tonight as well.
Some things to be on the lookout for tonight.
How does the new court look? - Live (if you can make it, let's hear about it in the comments), on your television, or on your computer/tablet.
The Pelicans pick and roll defense, are they still hard hedging? - Zach Lowe noted in this morning's column that Monty adjusting how New Orleans defends is something to watch.
16. Teams will shoot less than 50 percent in the restricted area when Anthony Davis and Omer Asik share the floor.
Yeah, good luck. That would be a stingier number than any team put up last season, and even stingier than what Indiana surrendered with Hibbert walling off the basket, per NBA.com.
This has a better chance of coming true if Monty Williams drops both his bigs back against the pick-and-roll after having Davis scramble around the 3-point arc over Brow’s first two seasons. Williams had a courtside seat for Team USA’s World Cup run, when Tom Thibodeau had Davis sit back like Noah and alter every shot opponents dared attempt in the paint.
To give that under 50% number some context; Pelicans opponents shot 62.8% in the restricted area last season.
Is the offense hot garbage? - In the past two preseason games the Pelicans have shot 36.6% and 36.4% from the field. Being unable to watch the games I cannot tell you whether this is a problem of shot conversion (make more open shots) or shot selection (please, stop with the long twos).
Do the threes continue? - One positive thing about shot selection in the preseason thus far has been a dramatic increase in three point shots. New Orleans has attempted 84 threes, (28 a game) making 30. 35.7% from behind the arc is not lighting the world on fire. Still, to have over a third of the attempts come from behind the arc is a welcome change. Thus far New Orleans is posting a 41.4% eFG% (68/164) inside the arc and a 53.6% eFG% (30/84) behind the three point line.
Things not to focus too hard on.
Do the Pelicans win?
Jimmer Fredette's performance against players bound for the Rio Grande Vipers.
Winning does not matter. Whether Jimmer gets minutes in the regular season is much more dependent on Monty's rotation and Jimmer's ability to defend actual NBA players, not Ish Smith and Nick Johnson.
Rockets vs Pelicans coverage