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Game 40: Can New Orleans Pelicans knock the softball pitch (Cleveland Cavaliers) out of the park?

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Nothing would lift the locker room more than a convincing win right now.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Here goes nothing...

Like chum at Sea World, the New Orleans Pelicans have been circled by national sharks for weeks now, and have done little to nothing to escape the grasp of the hungry horde.

But should the Pelicans fight their way back to mediocrity and possibly beyond, then the time is now.

The Pelicans face the worst team in the NBA with the worst average scoring margin and on the second night of a back-to-back, having lost to the Jazz on Friday by 26. The Pelicans follow up this contest against the sliding Grizzlies who have lost four straight, and then will again matchup with these Cavaliers in New Orleans days later.

The Pelicans don’t need to win this game. They need to dominate.

The time is now.

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Cleveland New Orleans
Pace: 95.5 (29th) Pace: 102.2 (6th)
ORtg: 106.9 (23rd) ORtg: 113.8 (3rd)
DRtg: 116.8 (30th) DRtg: 113.0 (26th)
Projected Starters:
Cleveland New Orleans
PG - Collin Sexton PG - Elfrid Payton
SG - Alec Burks SG - Jrue Holiday
SF - Rodney Hood F - E'Twaun Moore
F - Cedi Osman PF - Julius Randle
C - Tristan Thompson C - Anthony Davis

Injuries

Pelicans: Nikola Mirotic (out, ankle)

Cavaliers: Kevin Love (out, toe), David Nwaba (out), Ante Zizic (out)

For more on today’s matchup, please be sure to read Preston’s preview here.

To read up on the enemy, check out our sister site, Fear the Sword.

Also, who doesn’t like trade scenarios? Here’s one featuring a Julius Randle for Otto Porter Jr.exchange.

Where To Watch

What: New Orleans Pelicans (17-22) at Cleveland Cavaliers (8-31)

Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, OH

When: Saturday, January 5th, 2018, 7:00 p.m. Central

How: FSNO, 99.5 FM WRNO

Spread: -9.5

Join the conversation below and let’s geaux, Pels!