So, it turns out that playing the Dallas Mavericks is the cure to a losing streak in the NBA, but does it also work to start a winning streak? We shall see as Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and teammates head to Chicago and try to win consecutive games for a second time this season.
The New Orleans Pelicans (4-5) will play game number two of their four-game road trip against the Chicago Bulls (2-5). The Bulls, like the Mavericks, are likely destined to be one of the league’s bottom feeders, hoping their rebuild is on the right track. However, both teams will be playing on the second night of a back-to-back, and history is most definitely on the side of the Bulls.
Since entering the NBA, Davis hasn’t had much luck when visiting his former hometown. During his first two trips, he was unable to suit up due to injury, but at least he was able to take solace in the fact that New Orleans won both games. Interestingly, he’s played in all three games the last three seasons, yet not once did the Pelicans emerge the victor.
You can be sure AD eagerly wants to put to bed that silly streak!
Lauri Markkanen is off to an impressive start in his rookie campaign! He is averaging 16.6 points and 9.3 rebounds a game, while shooting an outstanding 42.6% from three on 6.7 attempts a game. The 7’0” sharpshooter could cause the Pelicans some trouble if he gets going.
The Holiday Brothers, AKA the Bland Baller Brand as Kevin and Jamile described them some time ago on our podcast, will face off against one another in the sibling rivalry. Expect Jrue to serve up a big helping of buckets against his older brother, though, to give the family something to talk about at the upcoming Thanksgiving dinner.
And this will be the first time that Quincy Pondexter will suit up against the Pelicans since he was traded this past off-season. Should be lots of love between the players and him, which is always nice to see.
Points of Interest
The Pelicans hope to give Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins a fighting chance to make a playoff push this season, but the existing roster is still struggling with consistency issues. Last night against the Mavericks, New Orleans combined for 99 points against one of the worst defenses in the league — that’s not good considering AD and Boogie spotted the team 50 points. Only two other Pelicans broke double digits: E’Twaun Moore had 11 points on 5-12 shooting and Tony Allen had 10 on 4-9 shooting.
Yep, no Jrue.
The fact of the matter is that this team has two generational talents, and a few decent players who just aren’t playing well for some reason yet. It could be coaching, it could be the players, or a combination of both. All I know is that the current roster is going to have extreme difficultly making the postseason if they maintain their current production, and if they do, they’ll be headed for a quick first round exit.
If the sporadic good play continues, expect the front office to pursue a trade as soon as this month, but more likely in December or January, when last summer’s free agent signings will be eligible to be included in deals. Although the Reggie Jackson proposal fell short, the front office signaled they will not sit pat if the team’s losing more than winning.
Keys to the Game
· Bully Markkanen similar to how you’d attack Ryan Anderson
· Attack, Attack, Attack — Bulls are averaging league-worst 92.1 points
· Keep trying to build confidence/momentum in the role players
Saturday’s contest will tip at 7:00 PM Central on Fox Sports New Orleans. Check back with us after the contest for the game recap after the Pelicans are hopefully 5-5!
What: New Orleans Pelicans at Chicago Bulls
Where: United Center
When: November 4, 2017, 7:00 PM Central
How: FSNO, WRNO 99.5 FM