The New Orleans Pelicans will greet a familiar opponent on the second night of their back-to-back inside the Smoothie King Center.
After dispatching the Grizzlies by a final score of 113-102 yesterday, the Bulls will be in town for a 7:00 p.m. tip-off — the same opponent that the Pelicans posted a thrilling 115-111 victory last Thursday in Chicago.
Brandon Ingram was spectacular in that contest, scoring 14 of his 22 points inside the final 5:07 of regulation, but he wasn’t the sole vital contributor. Many others stepped forward, similar in the victory against the Grizzlies that’s considered a “team win.”
Since their loss to the Pelicans, the Bulls have played just once, falling to the Denver Nuggets 126-103 this past Sunday.
Obviously, Chicago will be as well rested as teams generally are to start a season. That proposition is made even scarier by the fact that the Pelicans have already ruled out Zion Williamson for tonight’s contest.
This marks his second straight game missed due to a right foot contusion, and his fourth overall on the season.
With no Williamson, this could mean that Dyson Daniels receives rotation minutes again, provided Willie Green doesn’t opt for more size against a frontcourt that has Nikola Vucevic and Andre Drummond.
In just his third NBA game featuring significant run, Daniels was instrumental in limiting the Grizzlies to 102 points. His eight defensive rebounds (nine overall) in a little over 17 minutes of action helped Larry Nance and others on the floor restrict Memphis to just 10 points in the paint.
That’s equal to a pace of 27.8 points in the paint for the game — The Grizzlies rank fourth in the league with an average of 55.3 points in the paint!
Going small, which includes utilizing players like Nance, Daniels, Jose Alvarado, Naji Marshall, Trey Murphy and Herb Jones next to CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram, and when he returns, Williamson, could prove to be the best version of this New Orleans team. Small ball is as en vogue as ever and it looks like the Pelicans are built for it.
Here’s to seeing these smaller lineups again, regardless of who takes the floor for Chicago.
When: November 16, 2022, 7:00 p.m. CT
Where to watch: Bally Sports New Orleans, League Pass
Where to listen: WRNO 99.5