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Pelicans vs. Hawks preview: A stiff test out East

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Paging Langston Galloway’s rainbows of fury.

NBA: Preseason-New Orleans Pelicans at Atlanta Hawks Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off of the jubilation of ousting a formidable opponent in a tight game, the New Orleans Pelicans (4-10) venture off to Atlanta to trade pecks against the Hawks (9-4).

(Get it, pecks? Beaks? Birds? Nailed it.)

Living up to their label of consistency over the last few seasons, the Hawks currently sit in second atop the Eastern Conference standings despite a new cast of characters.

Some assorted things to look out for:

  • Dwight Howard’s return home has gone swimmingly thus far, with the big man looking more engaged on both ends than he did towards the end in Houston. Part of that may be in part to some health woes finally being in the rearview, but he has also been an essential cog of Coach Bud’s offense. The numbers don’t jump out at you (only 14.7 points per game), yet Howard can act as an offensive hub at the top of the key, while also dueling as an elite threat on runs to the rim. He will be a handful to contend with for Omer Asik.
  • I cannot wait to bear witness to Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday continue to make sweet music on the offensive end. Our own David Fisher has harped on the impact Holiday has on Davis’ efficiency, and those two are the only chance the Pelicans have on most nights.
  • For those of you that have not basked in the Paul Millsap experience because you live a restricted life of basketball fandom without League Pass, prepare to fall in love.
  • Can Langston Galloway carry over his holy jumpers from the other night against Charlotte? A secondary scoring threat outside of the Holiday-Davis combo is imperative to loosen up the Hawks defense. Asking Galloway to produce in a similar fashion will be a tough bet on the road, but he has shown some spunk as of late. I enjoy the cut of his jib.

Atlanta is disciplined with nearly everything they do, playing foil to the Pelicans’ hectic brand of basketball. A heavy reliance on AD will be warranted and needed, and tonight will be one of those nights where a 38/14/7/4 (points, rebounds, blocks, steals) is necessary to sniff the fumes of victory.

Tip off will be at 6:30pm CST and you can tune in on Fox Sports New Orleans or Fox Sports South East.