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NBA Preview: Buddy Hield returns to New Orleans and Kings brace for Hurricane DeMarcus

Pelicans face the Kings for the first time since the big Hield-Tyreke-Galloway-for-Boogie trade.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Since the arrival of DeMarcus Cousins in New Orleans, I honestly cannot recall a single dull moment around the Pelicans and that certainly won’t change with the Sacramento Kings coming to town on Friday. The suspense should parallel the first game out of the All-Star break against the Houston Rockets and the potential for drama may very well blow a hole in the roof of the Smoothie King Center.

Boogie was a King for over six long years, yet he fully expected to remain in Sacramento for a hell of a lot longer. Reason being, he was reassured by Vlade Divac he would not be traded and would soon be presented an opportunity to sign the CBA’s new designated player veteran exemption. Welp, shortly thereafter and moments after the 2017 All-Star game concluded, Big Cuz was suddenly the newest member of the Pelicans.

Cousins stated today to the media that he’s just going to “go in, play hard and try to get a win.”

Has there ever been a time more befitting of LMAO?! I mean how about the word “Loyalty” littering Cousins’ ensemble today? Or the fact Jordan Crawford reminded everyone to bring the popcorn? Even Alvin Gentry compared tomorrow’s game to a hypothetical situation: an Apple employee leaving for Microsoft and then wanting to kick Apple’s ass down the road!

What should we expect out of Cousins? Let’s just say one heck of a earth-shaking stat line at a minimum. If you’re a daily fantasy manager and don’t have Boogie in Friday lineups, you’re doing it wrong. My advice: go throw money on another sport.

Anyways, expect Big Cuz to challenge his career-high mark of 56 points if his jumper is showing any kinds of life. His nature is too competitive for him to not try and make a statement to Ranadive Vivek, Vlade and anyone else he feels is responsible for sticking the knife in his back.

On the flip side of the coin, it will be good to see Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and Langston Galloway if just for one night. The trio of guards had at one time or another a lot of supporters within New Orleans. You can bet your ass I’m going to continue following the careers of all of three, but I can’t lie, I’ll especially be watching Buddy the closest.

For starters, Hield’s numbers are up across the board in Sacramento.

Until Wednesday’s dud against Utah, Hield had scored in double figures in 15 of his first 17 games in Sacramento and made at least one three-pointer in every single game. Who’s to say how his career pans out, but one can’t deny he’s probably the face of the franchise currently and his production is markedly up in his new environment — a place where careers are supposed to wither and die.

Unfortunately, the same good news does not apply to both Evans and Galloway. The light is apparently no longer green as Langston has been saddled with six DNPs. Meanwhile, Tyreke is still restricted from playing too many minutes or in back-to-backs.

Nico mentioned in the latest recap that the Pelicans tragic number is four and it’s close to dropping to three. As I type this, I’m watching the Portland Trail Blazers lead the Houston Rockets by nine points. If Damian Lillard and company are ahead at the final buzzer, it’ll be another nail in the Pelicans coffin.

Come on, Eric Gordon! Do your thing, James Harden!!

Ugh, fandom can really be painful sometimes. Geaux Pelicans!!!

What: New Orleans Pelicans vs Sacramento Kings

Where: Smoothie King Center — New Orleans, LA

When: March 31, 2017, 7:00 PM Central