Will the New Orleans Pelicans’ off-court chemistry matter more in closed campus?

The New Orleans Pelicans were just starting to get to know each other when the season was suspended, but hope to lean on their chemistry.

It’s July, and that means a return to New Orleans Pelicans‘ basketball! But it’s not the typical July basketball we are used to. Normally July means we are checking out the newest draft picks during summer league games in Las Vegas.

Who could forget our first look at Zion Williamson taking the court in a Pelicans uniform a year ago?

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But this year is different in every way, including the NBA season. So what will the new version of the NBA look like in Orlando? We’ll find out soon enough.

In an NBA world with no fans in the stands, the New Orleans Pelicans have to rely on each other during the game even more than usual.

All-Star Forward Brandon Ingram spoke to the media earlier this week about motivating each other and feeding off of each other during the games.

“We have to use our own juice, our own energy…just like going back to open gym where we’re just trying to go at each other and trying to make the best out of each other, but trying to do it in the right way,” Ingram told reporters. “I think this is a time where we have to feed off of other people on the team and feed off the fire of the bench.”

 

But the team doesn’t just need to rely on each other when dealing with actual game play. The “bubble” format will also test their mental capabilities, as Jrue Holiday said in an interview with the AP.

“This is one of the mental parts about it that guys have to adjust to, where someone like me, I go home and it’s where I kind of relax,” Holiday said. “I try my best not to bring my work home with me so I can hang out with my wife, my dog, and my daughter and I can do things like that. … I think that’s going to be a little bit of a challenge, especially after like seven to 10 days.”

The Pelicans arrived in Orlando this week and will get rolling with their full-squad practices before three scrimmage games. The first game of the revamped season is July 30 against the Utah Jazz at 5:30 pm NOLA time, which you can see on TNT.

Next: Mock Draft 4.0: What if the Pels make the playoffs?
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