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The Bird Calls Podcast Ep. 51: Pelicans vs Timberwolves matchup offers many great story lines

AD, Boogie, KAT, Jimmy Butler, Wiggins — that’s a ton of good firepower!

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

It’s gut check time for the New Orleans Pelicans as they host the Minnesota Timberwolves tonight at 7 Ct in the Smoothie King Center.

“We’re human beings, just like the rest,” DeMarcus Cousins said on Tuesday. “There are days when y’all don’t feel like going to work. Same here. You know? I mean, it’s tough, but it’s part to the job and part of being a professional. We have to come out ready to play every night.”

The Pels dragged their way through a 115-99 loss to the Orlando Magic on Monday night. The Magic, on the second night of a back to back, took all the intensity from a team who now faces another western conference potential playoff contender.

The storylines aren’t new for Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns. Davis is 5-0 against his younger Wildcast counterpart, with averages of 35 points on 64 percent shooting in their matchups.

"I forgot what was said, but I remember him (Wildcats assistant Kenny Payne) calling me because Karl was talkin' some crap while he was still at Kentucky," stated Anthony Davis nearly one year ago.

"For over two months, even during the season, Anthony would call me at least three times a week [and say], 'I can't wait to play against Karl. I'm going to demolish him,'" Kenny Payne said.

Cousins will also hit the SKC with something to prove. His play was largely disappointing in the Pelicans lapse on Monday. He blamed himself for the Pels performance and head coach Alvin Gentry assigned him with much of the blame calling out the star in the post game media presser.

But things won’t come easily for the Pels’ two stars against young guns in KAT and newly rich Andrew Wiggins ($150 million), New Orleans also has to deal with Taj Gibson, Jeff Teague and three time All Star Jimmy Butler.

The Wolves may be 4-3 on the season, but they are 4-1 in games Butler has played, with the one loss being a 100-97 faltering to the Utah Jazz and former Wolf, Ricky Rubio. Butler is fully recovered from his respiratory illness and will make sure the Wolves come out firing.

Pelicans fans can expect KAT, Wiggins, and Butler to handle much of the scoring with Jeff Teague being the potential wildcard. While Teague has had trouble adjusting in the new lineup, his 23, 11 and 5 against the Miami Heat on Monday night helped lead the Wolves to an overtime victory.

Pels fans can expect lots of scoring. The Wolves are last or second to last in opponents fast break scoring, paint scoring, opponent shooting efficiency, and rebounding.

The Wolves are no slouches on offense, however, currently sitting at sixth.

Tom Thibodeau is notorious for dishing out heavy minutes to his starters, however, this season he has begun a tendency of running a five man bench unit including Tyus Jones, Jamal Crawford, Shabazz Muhammad, Nemanja Bjelinca and Gorgui Deng. The Pelicans will seek to capitalize on these lineups in what might be crucial momentum swings at the beginning of the second and four periods.

Tune in to The Bird Calls Podcast to hear this and so much more from David Naylor of Zone Coverage Minnesota.

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