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Pelicans vs Nuggets preview: New Orleans hosts Denver in Buddy Hield’s first NBA game

Buddy Fresh vs Jamal Murray Part I!

NBA: Preseason-Indiana Pacers at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans open the 2016-17 regular season schedule against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, October 26th, at 7:00 pm CST inside the Smoothie King Center. The game will be featured locally on Fox Sports New Orleans, so if you’re not at the game, please be sure to welcome Joel Meyers, David Wesley and Jen Hale back into your lives. And if television isn’t an available option, tune to 99.5 on the radio and listen to Sean Kelley vocalize all the necessary details of the action.

Tomorrow’s contest will be a first for a number of players in a New Orleans uniform, but expect Buddy Hield to stand front and center. The former Oklahoma Sooner will be making his first appearance in an NBA regular season game. Will the current Rookie of the Year favorite be able to overcome all of the expected butterflies and make a helpful impact?

Interestingly, Hield’s premiere will come against Jamal Murray, who was selected immediately after Buddy Buckets in the 2016 NBA draft. Remember, Hield proclaimed in a Periscope chat on media day that he’s a better player than the University of Kentucky product. Time to live up to the hype! :)

The last time the Pelicans and Nuggets met, a New Orleans mash unit, the 38th different starting lineup at the time, propelled the team to a 101-95 victory. Luke Babbitt, Toney Douglas and Tim Frazier ran Alvin Gentry’s offense well, producing 29 assists and knocking down 13 three-pointers.

Things to Watch

  • Who do you think... Anthony Davis! The superstar has talked differently ever since the start of training camp, giving hope he will finally morph into the vocal leader this locker room sorely needs. AD’s preseason numbers (25+ FGA / 12+ FTA per 36 minutes) indicate he will seek to be much more aggressive on the offensive end so expect him to dominate the usage while on the floor.
  • The Denver Nuggets three-point shooting. In the preseason the Nuggets shot a woeful 28.3% from long range, good for 28th in the league. This comes on the heels of a 25th ranking from the 2015-16 season. If the Pelicans defense needs to give something up, let all Nuggets not named Danilo Gallinari bomb away?
  • The new guys. Terrence Jones, Solomon Hill, E’Twaun Moore, Langston Galloway, Lance Stephenson and Cheick Diallo join Hield in making their premieres in the Crescent City. Who will shine the brightest?

It’s the dawn of a new season, Geaux Pelicans!!!