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NBA Preview: New Orleans Pelicans should expect strong effort from Trae Young in matchup against Atlanta Hawks

Although the Hawks won, Young had one of his worst games against the Pelicans in recent memory. Will he look to atone for a 2-14 shooting performance?

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Atlanta Hawks Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

When New Orleans and Atlanta get together, it’s always a fun time. At least, on the football field that is. On the basketball court, the Pelicans and Hawks are kinda equally sorry and it just doesn’t boil the blood the same way that Saints does.

But nobody wants to end a season getting swept by somebody else and that’s precisely what the Pelicans are trying to avoid Tuesday night in the Smoothie King Center.

In the team’s first meeting, the Pelicans got out to a seven-point lead over the Hawks before Atlanta outscored New Orleans 102-83 the rest of the game. Kevin Huerter, of all people, torched the Pelicans to the tune of 27 points, while John Collins and Trae Young each recorded double-doubles.

For New Orleans, Elfrid Payton began his streak of five consecutive triple-doubles in Atlanta with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Frank Jackson and Julius Randle each had 23 points. Even Darius Miller had a pretty good night from three, knocking down three of nine attempts the first time against Atlanta.

Speaking of three-point shooters, Trae Young had an off night from everywhere against New Orleans but has rebounded nicely in the two weeks afterward. Young has scored at least 20 points in all six games since that New Orleans matchup and even got as many as 32 in Atlanta’s win over Philadelphia Saturday night. Atlanta’s won back-to-back games over the 76ers and Jazz and that’s thanks in large part to Young’s combined 55 points and 22 assists. Young may not be able to catch Dallas’ Luka Doncic for Rookie of the Year, but his recent outings will almost definitely land him on the All-Rookie Team.

The Pelicans and Hawks are two teams going absolutely nowhere. That much we’ve known for a while now. But as the season draws closer to its conclusion, the Hawks have shown some fight in them lately while the Pelicans have lost eight of their last nine. Losing to Atlanta’s never fun regardless of the sport so here’s hoping New Orleans can hand out one more L to the other dirty birds.

Geaux Pels!

Where To Watch/Listen

What: New Orleans Pelicans (31-44) vs Atlanta Hawks (26-48)

Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

When: Tuesday, March 27th, 2019. 7:00 PM CST

How: FSNO, 99.5 FM WRNO