The New Orleans Pelicans first preseason game on the schedule tips off just past the top of the hour against the Miami Heat, but they won’t be facing the same formidable opponent witnessed in the 2020 playoffs.
According to Erik Spoelstra in pregame, Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic and Andre Iguodala are all expected to be out of action.
Eric Spoelstra says Jimmy Butler, Andre Iguodala and Goran Dragic won’t play tonight for Miami against the Pelicans.— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) December 14, 2020
As for those unavailable on the Pelicans’ side tonight, Stan Van Gundy revealed the details as to why Eric Bledsoe and JJ Redick did not travel with the team to Florida.
Stan Van Gundy on Bledsoe not being available for #Pelicans tonight: "Eric had an excused absence on a personal matter that took him out of market. He missed a (COVID) test. He needs to come back with a series of negative tests... for him to be with (the team)."— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) December 14, 2020
Van Gundy on Redick not available at Miami: "JJ was a point of contact for someone on contract tracing, who then was identified as a false positive. JJ is basically missing time in an abundance of caution. It's a good policy by the league, but honestly (Redick) was in no danger."— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) December 14, 2020
It sounds like Eric Bledsoe and JJ Redick should be good in short order, perhaps as soon as this Friday in the next exhibition contest.
As for Steven Adams, he was a game-time decision (calf tightness) in pregame, but a few minutes ago, Pelicans PR announced he’s going to play given he’s in the starting lineup. Josh Hart will take the place of Bledsoe at shooting guard.
For more on today’s final game of the 2019-20 season, please give our preview a read.
Let’s geaux Pels!
When: December 14, 6:00 p.m. Central
Where to watch: FSNO, NBA TV (both feeds will feature the Heat’s regional affiliate FOX Sports Sun)
Where to listen: ESPN 100.3 FM