New Orleans Pelicans: 4 storylines to watch against the Milwaukee Bucks

Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Zion Williamson, Giannis Antetokounmpo
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans steals the ball from Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans are back on the road to face the Milwaukee Bucks, last season’s Eastern Conference champions, for the second time this season. The first meeting between both sides ended with a 126-131 win for the Pels in a homecoming for Jrue Holiday.

The Pelicans are currently 11th in the west, while the Bucks are currently on a slight downward spiral despite still being third in the east. After being one of the most dominant teams in the regular season for the past couple of years, Mike Budenholzer’s Bucks are currently 19-13; for reference, they lost just 17 regular season games last season.

Related Story. Grades for a lackluster win over Detroit. light

After reformatting their roster this summer and acquiring Holiday through a blockbuster trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, the Bucks signed reigning back-to-back MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo re-signed with Milwaukee for five years, putting his stamp on the largest extension in league history. “The Greek Freak” temporarily zipped the conversation on his future, but those chatters will resurface if Bucks’ aim to build a championship contending team around Antetokounmpo falters.

The New Orleans Pelicans are currently riding a high. They completed their largest comeback in franchise history against the Boston Celtics two games ago and then beat the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

On top of that, the Pelicans had an all-star selection for the second consecutive year. After Brandon Ingram’s turn last season, Zion Williamson was announced as an all-star reserve earlier this week. Williamson has played less than the equivalent of one full NBA season, but his eye popping performances under Stan Van Gundy have been rewarded with his first all-star berth.

On the other hand, only one Bucks player in Antetokounmpo received that distinction this year. Khris Middleton was omitted from the reserves team, which is a bit harsh on him considering his great efficiency, increased playmaking and defense, and general consistent production.

With that in mind, here are four things to keep a close eye on when New Orleans squares off against Milwaukee.