New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Clippers

Published: November 27, 2015

The New Orleans Pelicans (4-11) take on the Los Angeles Clippers (7-8) tonight in the Staples Center. The game starts at 9:30 CT (UTC -6), and is on the Pelicans radio network and Fox Sports New Orleans. The Pelicans are on a 3-game win streak and coming off their first win on the road.

The Pelicans have not added to their MASH unit, and Evans is inching closer to playing. After not playing Wednesday in Phoenix, he is listed as Doubtful against the Clippers. It is unclear at this time whether Holiday will play against the Clippers, the Jazz, or both. Or neither, I suppose.

The Pelicans’ defense has been improving steadily, particularly against penetrating guards, which will come in handy against the Clippers who have more than one guard who can score 40 against a team that is soft on the perimeter and too small inside, as the Pelicans sometimes are. Jordan is playing over 30m per game and playing well. These facts provide a good opportunity for Asik to see some extended minutes, despite averaging about 15 minutes per game this season and not logging at least 25 minutes in a single game yet this season.

Part of the defensive improvement has come from the improved play from the guards, with Ish Smith playing better than at any point in his career. What has worked well is regularly attacking and getting to the line, something the Pelicans struggled to do early. The Clippers’ defense is below average and susceptible to this. Conversely, the Clippers could turn this game into a laugher if they manage to get going from three, and they can. This along would be problem enough, but if they draw Davis away from the basket on defense, the Clippers will add insult to injury. In particular, I’ll be watching Wesley Johnson closely.

As always, the Pelicans will likely depend on a great game from Davis and another player, such as Anderson or Gordon. I’d really like to see Gordon take this opportunity to tell the Clippers just what he thinks about their decision to trade him 4 years ago. I’m not sure that the statutes of limitations are on this or if the ownership change matters, but I’ll take what I can get at this point in the season.

Around the League, the Pelicans can tie the Rockets at 5-11 if the Pelicans win and the Sixers top the Rockets. Here’s to trusting the process. A win over the Clippers, who are at the tail end of the current playoff berths, may come in handy, just like the pair of wins over the Suns.

Good luck, Pelicans. We’ll update you as we get more information.

Update: Jrue Holiday is playing tonight, and will not play tomorrow night unless his restrictions change. Tyreke Evans will not play tonight, but he may play tomorrow night against the Jazz.

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