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NBA Preview: New Orleans Pelicans look to vanquish road woes against Washington Wizards

A 2-8 road record is the product of a lot of deflating basketball.

NBA: Washington Wizards at New Orleans Pelicans Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans (10-9) walk into Washington looking for the perfect “pick me up.” And while standard theory may suggest that the 6-11 Wizards should provide the exact medicine needed for a Pels team coming off a couple of road losses, the on-floor product will have to outweigh the production.

After a week of extended drama, the Wizards will look to build on their most recent come from behind victory against the Los Angeles Clippers. As for the Pelicans, they’ll look to turn around a road record that has gotten off to the roughest of starts and they’ve already lost two of their three road trip matchups this week.

Both teams will look to navigate their path back to prosperity and respectability, but only one can emerge victorious on Saturday night. With that being said, here’re three key elements to keep an eye on.

Turnover battle.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at New York Knicks Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

The Pelicans lost another turnover battle Friday night as they fumbled the basketball 13 times to the Knicks’ nine, leading to a 14-9 disadvantage in points off turnovers. If the Pelicans want to improve and show they’re more than a good story from last year, the carelessness needs to end and end quickly.

The Wizards, despite the team’s sluggish start in the W/L column, are one of the best teams that capitalize off opponent mistakes, averaging 19.9 points off turnovers. They are able to score often thanks to forcing a third-best 17.2 turnovers.

The road blues.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at New York Knicks Catalina Fragoso-USA TODAY Sports

The Pelicans have lost seven of their last eight on the road, with their lone victory coming in impressive fashion against Toronto. If New Orleans can right the ship by beating a bad team as they get ready for a home meeting against Boston, confidence has a chance of running free. No matter the team, road adaptability is what makes the good into great. It’ll be interesting to see how New Orleans responds after beginning the season 4-0 against the Eastern Conference.

Ignore the chatter.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Toronto Raptors Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

From Otto Porter to John Wall and Bradley Beal, the Pelicans have heard it all be projected their way. No matter the sentiments involving our current roster, the needs haven’t changed much over time. The Wizards have multiple wings that the Pelicans could use. And whether through internal bad contracts or the addition of others, the two have been linked together as of late. The Washington Wizards may provide everything a young Pelicans team could ask for not only in the present, but a long term fit.

The rumors will only continue to swirl if both teams appear to struggle and one is forced to make a quick decision. Either way, don’t believe everything you read is coming to fruition, but in the same token, don’t count it out yet.

Geaux Pels!

What: New Orleans Pelicans at Washington Wizards

Where: Capital One Arena

When: Saturday, November 24, 2018, 7:90 p.m. Central

How: FSNO, 99.5 FM WRNO