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The Bird Calls Podcast Ep. 85: Nikola Mirotic Shines, DeAndre Liggins is back, and Emeka Okafor!?

Breaking down the newest New Orleans Pelicans and discussing several upcoming matchups!

New Orleans Pelicans v Minnesota Timberwolves Photo by Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans suffered a season sweep at the hands of Jimmy Butler and the surging Minnesota Timberwolves. Butler led the Wolves with 30 points, and Karl Anthony Towns (who previously scored two points against the Pels, hehe) put in his 47th double double on the season, which leads the NBA.

The Pelicans fell behind 22-6 early and never recovered. Anthony Davis finished with another impressive stat line, including 38 points and nine rebounds, with 19 of those points coming in the first quarter alone! Cheick Diallo continued his improving play with 10 and 10 in 15 minutes.

However, the Pelicans didn’t have enough in this one. Jrue Holiday, gassed from his impressive performances against Paul George and the Thunder the night before, managed 3/13 as he chased Jimmy all night long. Ian Clark was off of his game, putting in just 4/12 shots on the night. Dante Cunnigham had but five points and one rebound in 20 minutes, E’Twaun Moore played just 12 minutes and went 1/4 . All four starters not named Anthony Davis carried a positive minus of -15 or worse….

But while Anthony Davis owned the box score for the Pelicans, much of our focus was on former Bull, Nikola Mirotic. Mirotic played the part of front court partner to AD brilliantly, with a stat line of 18 and 12, 4 steals on 6/13 shooting in 35 minutes. He was active on both ends of the floor, fit into the offense seamlessly, even managed offensive rebounds (gasp!).

Next up the Pelicans face the red hot Utah Jazz, winners of five straight, including victories over the Toronto Raptors, San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors. They are led by Pelican killers in Donovan Mitchell (averaging 33ppg against Pels), and Rudy Gobert.

On Wednesday the Pelicans get no reprieve from a Pacer team carrying All Star, Victor Oladipo, and a 4-1 record in their last week of play.

In other news, the Pelicans guaranteed Deandre Liggins for the remainder of the season, and invited former Hornet, Emeka Okafor back into town on a ten day contract. Okafor previously spent time with Philadelphia’s G League team this season averaging 20 minutes per game, seven points and eight rebounds.

Finally, the trade deadline is but 72 hours away! Pelicans have several areas of need across the board and will certainly be buyers before all is said and done. But should the asking price be too high, buyout candidates could emerge thereafter.

Join Christian Boutwell of the Advocate and Oleh Kosel as we cover all of these topics and much, much more!

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