New Orleans Pelicans: Where positional battles stand so far

Trey Murphy III #25 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Trey Murphy III #25 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Herbert Jones
Herbert Jones #5 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans have played three preseason games and we still don’t know a lot about the team.

They have looked great at times, hustling on defense and making plays, but have also looked sluggish at others, out of sync and flat-out bad, which is what you expect from a young team in preseason.

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The New Orleans Pelicans have also been without Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram for most of it, so resist the urge to read too much into preseason, as we haven’t even seen the team at full strength.

But there are some interesting positional battles to keep an eye on and we are a little closer to deciding them with one game remaining in the preseason.

New Orleans Pelicans: Willy Hernangomez vs. Herb Jones

Originally this battle was between Jaxson Hayes and Hernangomez for the backup center role, but I think Herb Jones has also inserted himself into the conversation.

Hayes went out with an injury in game one that doesn’t appear to be serious, but it is unlikely we’ll see him again in the preseason.

This is Hayes spot to lose obviously, but the slot for the third big man is still very much up for grabs.

We know what we are going to get out of Hernangomez, he’s a solid veteran who is not going to win or lose you many games.

Herb Jones offers more exciting possibilities, as the Pelicans may be able to run out their own “Death Lineup” with Jones playing the role of Draymond Green.

Jones has a lot in common with Draymond and the Pelicans may decide to use these small-ball lineups more often, which would cut into Hernangomez’s minutes.

This will probably change from night-to-night, but from what I’ve seen so far, it’s going to be difficult to keep Jones out of the lineup, as he is just too good defensively and gives the Pelicans a weapon to use at center in short bursts.

Advantage: Herb Jones