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Jose, Trey and Naji in starting lineup for Pelicans-Mavericks matchup

Can New Orleans pull of the short-handed upset?

San Antonio Spurs v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans face a monumental challenge tonight, needing to find a way to beat the Dallas Mavericks without three regular starters.

Zion Williamson (right posterior hip/low back contusion) and Herb Jones (right knee hyperextension) joined Brandon Ingram (concussion) on the unavailable player list this morning, leaving Willie Green scrambling to revamp his entire rotation.

Standing alongside CJ McCollum and Jonas Valanciunas at tip-off will be Trey Murphy, Naji Marshall and Jose Alvarado.

It’ll be interesting to see how the threesome fills so many holes. For instance, will there be a greater emphasis placed on 3-point shooting, with so many potent paint scorers out? Will a large part of the offense be dedicated to finding Murphy, who is averaging nine field goal attempts and five 3-point attempts on the season? And can Naji be somewhat effective against Luka Doncic by not fouling?

Watching how many minutes Willy Hernangomez, Dyson Daniels and Garrett Temple receive from the end of the bench will be another thing to monitor

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

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (2-1) vs Dallas Mavericks (1-1)

When: October 25, 2022, 6:30 p.m. CT

Where to watch: TNT

Where to listen: WRNO 99.5

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.