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Game Thread: Pelicans to face seriously depleted Timberwolves squad

NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at New Orleans Pelicans Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans are catching the Minnesota Timberwolves without several key players. In addition to Karl-Anthony Towns and Juancho Hernangomez out due to Covid-19 Health and Safety Protocols — please get well soon, guys! — the Wolves will also be without D’Angelo Russell (rest).

According to head coach Ryan Saunders in pregame, the plan was to sit Russell before tonight due to him carrying a heavier workload this season. The Timberwolves did play last night, falling 116-98 to the Atlanta Hawks.

Saunders is aware that Naz Reid (starting center) and Jarred Vanderbilt (starting power forward) are going to hand their hands full with Zion Williamson and Steven Adams. His hope in counteracting the massive size difference is with his active roster playing, “smarter, harder and more together.”

If the Pelicans struggle against a seriously depleted Timberwolves’ squad, we’re going to be forced to start checking daily around here again. Let’s hope that won’t be the case — this season is much too young!

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

Geaux Pels!

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (5-9) at Minnesota Timberwolves (3-11)

When: January 23, 7:00 p.m. Central

Where to watch: FSNO

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.