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New Orleans Pelicans look to impress over Baby Bulls in preseason opener

Will the Pelicans light up the scoreboard in Chicago?

NBA: Chicago Bulls at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Even if it is just the preseason, New Orleans Pelicans basketball is back in our lives! The Chicago Bulls will present the first obstacle as New Orleans has five exhibition games on the slate before the start of the 2018-19 regular season.

The head coaches for both teams have announced ahead of time that the starters will likely be restricted to a 15-20 minute window of game time. For the Pelicans, Jahlil Okafor (Ingrown toenail) will play, but Nikola Mirotic (Achilles Tendinosis), Darius Miller (biceps strain) and Alexis Ajinca (Quad Strain) are out. For the Bulls, Lauri Markkanen (elbow strain) is out.

Three things to watch:

  1. New Orleans Pace. As the numbers below indicate, the Pelicans led the league in pace last season, but Alvin Gentry wants the team to play at an even faster clip. Considering the Bulls are a young team who likes to play quickly themselves, New Orleans should be able to impose their will — especially the starters.
  2. Elfrid Payton. Will the Pelicans starting point guard get off on the right foot, performing positively on both ends of the floor?
  3. Frank Jackson. Since the 2017 NBA Draft, we’ve only been privileged to 13 minutes of summer league action this past July. Everyone is desperate for much, much more. Can Frank appease the masses in his first taste of preseason basketball?

For more details on today’s matchup, please check out Preston’s preview!

Geaux Pels!!!

2018-19 NBA Preseason
0-0 (0-0 Away)
0-0 (0-0 Home)
September 30, 2018, 6:00 PM Central
United Center - Chicago, IL
WRNO 99.5 FM
Projected Starters
Elfrid Payton PG Kris Dunn
Jrue Holiday SG Zach LaVine
E'Twaun Moore SF Justin Holiday
Julius Randle PF Jabari Parker
Anthony Davis C Robin Lopez
Advanced Stats (2017-18) via NBA Stats
102.72 (1st) Pace 100.33 (10th)
107.7 (9th) ORtg 101.3 (28th)
105.6 (14th) DRtg 109.1 (28th)
+2.1 (10th) Net Rating -7.8 (28th)