The New Orleans Pelicans next exhibition test comes against the Oklahoma City Thunder Friday evening. The game is scheduled to be shown on both the Pelicans and Thunder apps, or it can be heard on 99.5 FM.
While both teams are looking to get off the schneid, preseason wins and losses are of not great concern to coaching staffs. Rather, it’s much more important for the Pelicans to solve a few issues witnessed in their first preseason game, like porous defensive rotations and offensive inconsistency. In their loss Tuesday to the Bulls, New Orleans came out like gangbusters — scoring an incredible 46 points in the first quarter, but failed to do anything well on either side of the ball throughout the second half.
With Russell Westbrook unlikely to play, the Pelicans still have to contend with newcomers Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. The Thunder starters struggled against the Rockets in their first preseason game so expect them to work on building rhythm and chemistry.
Carmelo Anthony on building rhythm and chemistry after the first preseason game: pic.twitter.com/980M3CAjVB— Royce Young (@royceyoung) October 5, 2017
Anthony Davis will likely be tasked with guarding Melo while Dante Cunningham attempts to corral George. These two matchups are worth a close watch. The Pelicans expect Davis to have to guard down often this season, defending players who possess skills and athletic ability more akin to small forwards than power forwards. Meanwhile, Cunningham has the potential to best make up for the loss of Solomon Hill.
As for DeMarcus Cousins, let’s hope Steven Adams doesn’t get under Boogie’s skin with one of his tricks.
During the game against Bulls, Kris Dunn gave Cousins a bit of a shove that infuriated the big man into a technical foul. Yeah, it occurred in a preseason game, but the Pelicans have to hope this doesn’t becoming a disturbing trend — where Cousins is provoked first and then referees penalize him for almost any reaction.
What do you guys plan to watch for?