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Game 2: Don’t curb the enthusiasm but keep expectations of Pelicans in check for Mavericks and beyond

New Orleans was always due to hit a few rough patches this season.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier today, the New Orleans Pelicans exercised the options on both Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball. No brainer decisions, for sure, but here’s a fun thought: Lonzo’s $11 million dollar salary currently slots as the third most expensive for next season. The Pelicans are going to be young, loaded with assets and will have their choice of selecting from numerous available paths — the future is damn bright!

The reason I’m telling you this is because there shouldn’t be any fans contemplating the idea of jumping ship after tonight’s contest.

Hey, there’s a good chance that New Orleans falls to the Dallas Mavericks and begins the season with an 0-2 record, with the Rockets, Warriors and Nuggets up next. But don’t panic if that happens because there were never any high expectations to begin with.

Oh, there’s no doubt that New Orleans is beyond ready to root for a winning basketball team, but this 2019-20 season was never about playoffs or bust. Despite Jrue Holiday, Derrick Favors and JJ Redick on the roster, development was always going to be the biggest priority with drafting Zion Williamson, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Jaxson Hayes and Didi Louzada, plus trading for Brandon Ingram and Ball.

It’s all about the long game.

New Orleans young core needs to accumulate a lot of court time together so let them have fun and do not add any undue pressure. They need to learn to walk first before trying to run — let’s see them be competitive on a nightly basis before demanding the piles of wins.

Honestly, any playoff trip this season should only serve as a bonus, but having said all that, please go out and kick the Dallas Mavericks’ ass!

Hehe, geaux Pels!!!

Where To Watch/Listen

What: New Orleans Pelicans (0-1) vs Dallas Mavericks (1-0)

Where: Smoothie King Center

When: Friday, October 25, 2019. 7:00 PM CDT

How: ESPN, FSNO, ESPN New Orleans Radio 100.3