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NBA Preview: Pelicans to face Pistons but must seek first win of Cousins era without DeMarcus

No Boogie means Anthony Davis must battle Andre Drummond alone

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Oklahoma City Thunder Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

We are now three games into the Boogie-Brow experiment and New Orleans is still seeking it’s first win of this glamorous new era.

Since landing Cousins, New Orleans got rocked by Houston, suffocated by Dallas and came up short in Oklahoma City. As almost always with this franchise, no matter how lofty the expectations on the court are, the on-court product never delivers.

It’s still early, of course, and it doesn’t help that an already flawed roster is shorthanded in the wing and guard department, but calling the first week of having Cousins and Davis together a disappointment wouldn’t be unfair.

If New Orleans wants to land their first win since the All-Star break, it’ll be without DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins picked up a questionable at best and ticky tack at worst technical foul in Oklahoma City giving him 18 on the year, resulting in a suspension. And considering New Orleans is taking on the Pistons tonight in the Smoothie King Center, not having a center of Cousins’ caliber to check Andre Drummond certainly isn’t ideal.

Not that Anthony Davis isn’t up to the task of going one-on-one with Andre Drummond. It wasn’t that long ago that Davis scored a franchise record 59 points and grabbed 20 rebounds for good measure against the Pistons. Still, you go out and get a guy like Cousins in order to spare Davis banging against massive frames all night long.

The Pistons are currently the 8-seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture with a chance to move up the standings or fall into the lottery depending on how they close the season. Detroit is two games up on Miami for that last playoff spot and only two behind Indiana for the sixth seed.

As far as middling teams go, the Pistons are every bit of the near .500 team you’d expect. Check out their game results on basketball-reference, it’s basically alternating between winning streak and losing streak.

The Pistons don’t really have one exceptional player on their roster but they have a few decent pieces. Drummond, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris, Tobias Harris and Reggie Jackson all average at least 14 points and Jon Leuer chips in 11 coming off the bench. Former Pelican fan favorite Ish Smith is also contributing nicely to a potential playoff team with eight points and five assists a night.

Drummond is the headliner for Detroit and his 13.8 rebounds a game is largely responsible for the Pistons ranking sixth in the league in rebounding. However, the Pistons are in the bottom third in the league in assists. I know, I’m as shocked as you that a team with Reggie Jackson running point doesn’t move the ball well.

This doesn’t feel like a good matchup for the Pelicans. Considering how bad the Pelicans have been playing with Cousins, it worries me that they’ll be without his services tonight. Davis will need help from someone. Maybe Jrue Holiday gets out of his funk he’s been in lately. Maybe Alexis Ajinca has a double-double like the Memphis game. Or maybe Anthony Davis decides to treat Detroit to another one of his 59 point, 20 rebound efforts.

It worked the last time, Geaux Pelicans!!!

What: Pelicans vs Pistons

Where: Smoothie King Center — New Orleans, LA

When: March 1, 2017 at 7:00 PM Central

How: Fox Sports New Orleans, Fox Sports Detroit, 99.5 FM WRNO