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Game Thread: Nickeil Alexander-Walker to remain in starting lineup as Pelicans face full strength Lakers

Eric Bledsoe is a game-time decision, but Zion Williamson will be in the starting lineup

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Frank Vogel confirmed to pregame media that all the key Lakers who have been nursing injury will be available against the Pelicans tonight. This includes Anthony Davis (lower back tightness), LeBron James (left ankle sprain), Wesley Matthews (right Achilles soreness) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (left ankle sprain).

The Lakers head coach also pointed out that he views New Orleans as a stronger opponent than their current place in the standings: “They’re better than their record suggests.”

As for the Pelicans, Nickeil Alexander-Walker will take the place of Lonzo Ball in the starting lineup and he’ll be flanked by Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and Steven Adams. Eric Bledsoe is a game-time decision, but if he can’t go, then expect for Josh Hart to replace him.

For those ready to see Wenyen Gabriel appear in a game, the wait is unfortunately going to be awhile longer. Stan Van Gundy stated in pregame media that Gabriel has practiced only once this season, so he needs more time to get up to game speed before being ready for game action.

UPDATE: Eric Bledsoe is a go for tonight...

...but he’s not in the starting lineup.

For more on tonight’s matchup, please give our preview a read.

Geaux Pels!

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (4-6) at Los Angeles Lakers (10-3)

When: January 15, 9:00 p.m. Central

Where to watch: FSNO, ESPN

Where to listen: ESPN 100.3 FM

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.