Game On: Pels Host Wizards

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Published: January 5, 2015

The Pelicans host the Washington Wizards tonight in the Blender as they look to stay in the playoff race with 8th place Phoenix and 10th place OKC, who is gaining on both, fast.  The Pels come in with plenty of rest after Friday night’s trouncing of the Houston Rockets; while the Wizards are on a *3-game skid, including a pair to familiar foes Dallas and San Antonio, tho they still sit in 4th in the East at 22-11. *(the third loss was to OKC)

The Pels boast a record at home of 11-4, but the Wizards are a very good team with a win over the Pelicans this season already, 83-80.  Many more people are starting to like them to challenge in the East, the Pels will need to really be up for the challenge tonight.

Some Keys to the Game:

  • Protect the Paint – last time around the Wizards outscored the Pels 44-28 in the paint, and had 9 blocks compared the Pelicans 1 (Evans), as Gortat put up 24pts and 13rebs.
  • The Pelicans have two wins with under 100 points, and they scored 99 and 97 in those.  Washington holds opponents to 97.8 per game (6th best in the league) but only score 100 (18th), if the Pels can execute better this time offensively (37% from the field in the loss) they’ll have a much easier task tonight.
  • Anderson has been doing much better since I wrote a piece on his struggles, shooting over 50% from the field (40% from 3) his last 5 games, averaging 18.8 and 6.5.  When Anderson plays well, our offense is much better, it is that simple.

 

The Pelicans need to win. Oklahoma City, just a half game behind the Pelicans, was 11-5 in December (largely in thanks to a 7-game win streak), but the Pelicans have been playing .500 basketball all year and have yet to string more than 2 wins together.  Lucky for them 8th place Phoenix is having similar problems, going 8-8 in December including loses to both the Pels and Thunder.

 

The Pelicans could get a little help tonight as Eric Gordon is set to make his awaited return tonight for the Pelicans, although Tyreke Evans could be out due to illness.

Go Pels, enjoy the game!

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