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Game thread: Ingram, Hart out, Valanciunas in for Pelicans-Cavaliers matchup

A lot of regular players will be out of action

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at New Orleans Pelicans Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

When the New Orleans Pelicans tip off against the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight, they will be without Josh Hart (left ankle sprain) and Brandon Ingram (sore left Achilles). They will, however, welcome back Jonas Valanciunas after a two-game absence.

The bigger talking point from a national perspective, though, might be that nine players are listed out due to COVID health and safety protocols between the two teams.

  • Nickeil Alexander-Walker
  • Naji Marshall
  • Jose Alvarado
  • Darius Garland
  • Jarrett Allen
  • Cedi Osman
  • Lamar Stevens
  • Dylan Windler
  • Ed Davis

Six will be out with injuries and suspensions.

  • Zion Williamson
  • Brandon Ingram
  • Kira Lewis Jr.
  • Josh Hart
  • Didi Louzada
  • Collin Sexton

To recap, here’s a list of players who will be available to Willie Green.

We’re barely two months into the 2021-22 regular season and a number of teams across the league are having to put together makeshift rosters on the fly. The NBA office is determined to push through the new COVID spike as evidenced by several important rule changes, but one has to start wondering about the latest effects of this pandemic.

For instance, how long will fans continue to closely monitor their favorite team if forced to watch a product week after week that isn’t the group of players they signed up for during preseason?

Please comment below!

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

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (12-22) vs Cleveland Cavaliers (20-13)

When: December 28, 2021, 7:00 pm

Where to watch: Bally Sports New Orleans, League Pass

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.