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NBA Preview: Pelicans head to New York to begin three-game road trip against RJ Barrett and Knicks

New Orleans gets chance to show off winning ways in front of national audience

New York Knicks v Washington Wizards Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans (13-25) are rounding into form. Winners of seven of their last ten games, the team is slowly but surely undoing some of the early season mess they put themselves in.

On Wednesday, the Pelicans dispatched the Chicago Bulls 123-108. Up next for New Orleans is three straight contests against the Eastern Conference, all on the road. The first stop is Madison Square Garden to play the lowly New York Knicks (10-28).

New York is having another very Knicks-y type of season. David Fizdale was fired in early December after a season and change as head coach; RJ Barrett, the third overall selection in this past summer’s draft and former Duke teammate of Zion Williamson’s, has had a so-so start to his career in averaging 13 points on 39 percent shooting; and the Knicks just wrapped up an 0-4 trip out west, highlighted by Bobby Portis getting slapped with a $25,000 fine for whacking Kentavious Caldwell-Pope upside the head. Same old, same old for the Knicks.

There’s no good way to sugarcoat it: New York stinks. The Knicks have lost six of its last ten and are on pace for 21-22 wins this season. However, what’s bad for New York is a good thing for New Orleans. The Pelicans have to play Boston tomorrow on a back to back so it would behoove them to make quick work of a hapless Knicks team and be able to rest key players like Derrick Favors.

There’s two questions going into Friday night’s game in the Garden.

  • Question one: Can Lonzo Ball crack the 20-point barrier as he had done so for four straight games prior to the win over the Bulls?
  • Question two: It’s not “will the Pelicans beat the Knicks” it’s “by how much will the Pelicans win?”

The Knicks offense and defense both rank in the bottom five of the league. They own the worst true shooting percentage (52.3 TS%), while allowing opponents a league-high 38.6 3PT%.

New Orleans loves to shoot threes and who doesn’t like it when the opposition can’t find the bottom of the net?!

Geaux Pels!

Where To Watch/Listen

What: New Orleans Pelicans (13-25) at New York Knicks (10-28)

Where: Madison Square Garden - New York, NY

When: Friday, January 10th, 2019 6:15 PM CST