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Game Thread: Nickeil Alexander-Walker to start in place of injured Lonzo Ball again as Pelicans host Nuggets

NAW has been fantastic as a starter this season

Los Angeles Lakers v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Jonathan Bachman/NBAE via Getty Images

Lonzo Ball will miss tonight’s action when the Pelicans host the Nuggets, sitting out a third consecutive game due to a right flexor hip strain. David Griffin mentioned in his trade deadline press conference this morning that he doesn’t expect Ball to return until sometime after New Orleans current back-to-back.

In Ball’s vacancy, Nickeil Alexander-Walker will start once again and he has shined. His offensive output as a starter has been dramatically more efficient.

Starter 19.2 5.2 2.4 2.8 55.9% 43.8%
Reserve 7.5 2.4 1.8 1.1 37.6% 29.1%

Those are some remarkable differences in field goal percentages and three-point percentages between his five games as a starter versus 30 appearances as a reserve.

Maybe once Lonzo returns from injury, this should serve as an addition argument for starting NAW over Eric Bledsoe (asides the team prioritizing development) to close out this regular season — he’s earned it through posting stronger performances.

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

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (19-24) vs Denver Nuggets (26-18)

When: March 26, 7:00 p.m. Central

Where to watch: FSNOLA

Where to listen: ESPN 100.3 FM

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