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Jonas Valanciunas primed for bounce-back performance against Bulls

JV should receive an opportunity to make a noticeable impact

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans will tip off against the Chicago Bulls at the top of the hour, looking for their first three-game win streak of the season.

Here’s a more fun fact: The last time the Pelicans were three games above .500 was all the way back during the early portion of the 2018-19 campaign, when that ill-fated squad (incoming Anthony Davis trade request!) began 10-7 out of the gates.

Forget baby steps, this franchise is due!

One player who could help make a 9-6 record reality is Jonas Valanciunas. The starting center has posted three subpar games in a row, but to be perfectly fair, he wasn’t given much of an opportunity.

With no Jusuf Nurkic against Portland, the Rockets playing small throughout and Steven Adams getting into foul trouble, Valanciunas hasn’t eclipsed 20 minutes since ... the last meeting between the Pelicans and Bulls.

It’s also pertinent that Zion Williamson is out, thereby placing a greater need on Valanciunas for interior scoring.

In his last matchup against Nikola Vucevic and Andre Drummond, Jonas posted a line of 21 points, 13 rebounds and three assists.

Let’s see a nice encore.

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

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (8-6) vs Chicago Bulls (6-8)

When: November 16, 2022, 7:00 p.m. CT

Where to watch: Bally Sports New Orleans, League Pass

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.