The NBA is coming back July 30 and not a moment too soon for basketball fans who have been deprived a proper conclusion to the 2019-20 season since Rudy Gobert’s positive coronavirus test March 11 that set off the worldwide cascade of sports league cancellations. Now, the NBA will look to finish what it started with a 22-team “bubble” at the Disney Resorts in Orlando, an eight-game finish to the regular season and four best-of-7 playoff rounds to determine a champion. We take a look at each of the teams involved as we move closer to the official return and today we’ll look at the New Orleans Pelicans team in our Sports Intel preview:
New Orleans Pelicans Team Preview 2019-2020 Re-Boot
(28-36, 10th in West, 9 behind No. 7)
Where we left off: The New Orleans Pelicans were four for eight ahead of the season suspension, but the wins showed that the team has significant power. Zion Williamson proved to be a huge asset to the lineup and seemed virtually unstoppable. He was just settling into a grove when the games had to be called off and, if not for the season halt, would have helped carry the Pels closer to a playoff spot than they would have imagined.
Remaining schedule: July 30, Utah Jazz; Aug. 1, LA Clippers; Aug. 3, Memphis Grizzlies; Aug. 6, Sacramento Kings; Aug. 7, Washington Wizards; Aug. 9, San Antonio Spurs; Aug. 11, Kings; Aug. 13, Orlando Magic.
Projected starting lineup: PG: Lonzo Ball, SG: Jrue Holiday, SF: Brandon Ingram, PF: Zion Williamson, C: Derrick Favors
Key injuries, absentees: SF Darius Miller (Achilles), SG JJ Redick (hamstring)
Odds to Win Title: 80-1
Can they win it all? The Pels are going to rely heavily on Williamson to set the pace for the team during the modified playoffs. He showed great agility before the season stopped, shooting 63.1% inside the restricted area, and is the type of player that teams build entire defenses around. He certainly isn’t the only strength on the Pels’ bench, and the squad made up of Ball and Holiday is expected to come out with both guns blazing. New Orleans has a shot at the title, but also faces some serious competition that will probably force the Pelicans team to come up short.
That concludes our short but sweet preview of the New Orleans Pelicans team ahead of the restart of the NBA season in Orlando. Come back tomorrow to check out the Sports Intel of another team involved.