Game On: Pelicans @ Nets

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Published: April 2, 2016

The Pelicans head to Brooklyn for a game that features only two players who would start for the majority of teams in this league, both of whom play for the opposing Nets (Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young). Both squads have fewer wins combined (49) than five other NBA teams. The Pelicans’ projected starting lineup of Toney Douglas, Jordan Hamilton, Luke Babbitt, Dante Cunningham, and Omer Asik have scored a total of 10,054 points in their NBA careers collectively; or in other words, about half as many as Joe Johnson, a player who the Nets waived about a month ago. As you can clearly tell by this intro, this game is one that will be absolutely overflowing with talent.

UPDATE (4/3/16, 10:25 AM): The Nets have just announced that they’re shutting down Lopez and Young for the season, meaning that there are now ZERO active players for tonight’s game who would be starters for most other NBA teams. Get ready for a fun one!

On a more positive note, this current New Orleans active roster has been just about as fun as a D-League level team can be over the past few contests. If you can find it in your respective hearts to ignore the “tank” and think about these final games from the players’ perspective, you can see a bunch of guys fighting to prove that they belong. Hamilton, Babbitt, Tim Frazier, James Ennis, even Toney Douglas – all players who have no guarantees beyond this season as far as their NBA careers are concerned (though Babbitt is guaranteed a nice 200K for next season no matter what the Pelicans decide regarding his fate). Try to root for these players to succeed in a season that has provided so much failure for this team.

The reality is that this young, inexperienced group is going to have a really hard time winning on the road, so it’s really fun to be happy for the guys when good things happen. Pull for Tim Frazier to use his impressive speed to make a defender or two look silly. Root for James Ennis to use his athleticism to make a play that shows up on SportsCenter’s Top Ten tomorrow. Cheer for Luke Babbitt to make five threes in a row. Go crazy when 7’2″ Ajinca swats a shot into the fifth row of the stands. In a lost season like this one, it’s important to cling to and enjoy the little things. Enjoy the game for all of the reasons you may have overlooked back in November.

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