The New Orleans Pelicans get started for real on Thursday vs. the Jazz.
The New Orleans Pelicans cruised to three easy wins in the scrimmage games, but now things are about to get real.
The Pelicans will take on the Utah Jazz in the first game of the NBA restart in Orlando.
During the scrimmages, the Pels used every player on the current roster and just about everyone played well. Alvin Gentry has to be given credit for the preparation and the fact that every player seemed to know his role.
The Pelicans were without Derrick Favors for the first scrimmage and Zion Williamson for all three, so they mostly played small ball against much bigger teams.
This strategy worked well against Denver’s Godzilla lineup and the Pelicans were able to ride J.J. Redick’s hot 3rd quarter shooting and just keep rolling with a mostly small lineup against the Bucks.
We definitely saw some lineups that we are unlikely to ever see again, particularly against Denver, who was running out Nikola Jokic as the point guard and 7-foot-2 Bol Bol as small forward.
Gentry didn’t tip his hand too much about rotations, but the final scrimmage against the Bucks should give us some idea of how he wants to fill out his lineups in the real games.
Here’s a look at the starting lineups and probable rotations for the New Orleans Pelicans, including a couple of guys who may have played their way into more minutes.
The Pelicans’ starters have the best net rating in the entire NBA, so when they are all healthy, this lineup is etched in stone, as it is their best offensively and defensively, with a net rating of +26.3 on the season.
PG Lonzo Ball
SG Jrue Holiday
SF Brandon Ingram
PF Zion Williamson
C Derrick Favors
The Pelicans hope to get out to fast starts with this lineup, build big leads and run, run, run. This lineup is one of the fastest paced in the NBA and should give the Pels an advantage.