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With Larry Nance Jr. unavailable against Bucks, will Pelicans play bigger?

The small-ball five will miss his third game of the season

New Orleans Pelicans v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images

Larry Nance Jr. is out for tonight’s matchup with right Achilles soreness, joining Brandon Ingram on the sidelines for the first meeting of the season between the Milwaukee Bucks and New Orleans Pelicans.

Jonas Valanciunas was always likely to receive more minutes than usual with Brook Lopez in town, but Nance’s absence should increase the load even a little more. The question is, who fills the role of the backup 5? Willy Hernangomez? Jaxson Hayes? Zion Williamson??

Keep in mind that Bobby Portis is slated to fill most of the minutes behind Lopez.

Like Willie Green, Mike Budenholzer’s roster will not be at full strength as he’ll be without the services of his best perimeter shooter in Khris Middleton.

All eyes will be on Giannis Antetokounmpo versus Zion Williamson, but the Pelican superstar has not fared as well against the Bucks as other squads.

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

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (18-11) vs Milwaukee Bucks (21-8)

When: December 19, 2022, 7:00 p.m. CT

Where to watch: Bally Sports New Orleans, League Pass

Where to listen: WRNO 99.5

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