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Game Thread: Nickeil Alexander-Walker replacing injured Lonzo Ball in Pelicans starting lineup against Mavericks

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Could Didi Louzada make his NBA debut tonight?

New Orleans Pelicans v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

With Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Steven Adams and Lonzo Ball all out due to injury for Wednesday’s matchup against the Dallas Mavericks, Eric Bledsoe should be surrounded by Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Naji Marshall, James Johnson and Willy Hernangomez in the starting lineup.

Stan Van Gundy confirmed NAW’s inclusion in the starting lineup during pregame media, saying that while he won’t be on a minutes restriction, they’ll still keep an eye on him.

While it’s never good to read that four-fifths of the usual lineup is unavailable, the New Orleans Pelicans should be looking exclusively to the future because the play-in tournament feels out of reach.

In order for the team to climb into the 10th spot, the Pelicans would have to go a perfect 3-0 the rest of the way while the San Antonio Spurs lose all four of their remaining matchups.

One interesting thing to ponder: Could this be the night that Didi Louzada makes his debut in an NBA regular season game? In addition to Kira Lewis Jr., Wenyen Gabriel, Wesley Iwundu and Jaxson Hayes all likely to receive plenty of run off the bench, it seems probable that we see the team’s NBL draft-and-stash the last two years for at least a few minutes.

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

Geaux Pels!

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (31-38) at Dallas Mavericks (40-29)

When: May 12, 8:00 p.m. Central

Where to watch: Bally Sports New Orleans

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.