New Orleans Pelicans Preview: How to stop Trae Young and the Hawks

Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks battles Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Trae Young #11 of the Atlanta Hawks battles Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans are coming off of their first win of the season against the Timberwolves, a 107-98 victory that was led by Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas. After a three-game stretch on the road, they are finally back home in front of the home fans.

They will be taking on the Atlanta Hawks, another young and talented team that the Pelicans would like to emulate. Here’s a quick preview and how the Pels can shut down Trae Young and the Hawks.

New Orleans Pelicans and Atlanta Hawks last game

Like I mentioned earlier, the Pels played great on Monday night in Minnesota. It was a team effort all around. Jonas Valanciounas is the 6th Pelicans player to have 20 and 20. He finished the night with 22 points and 23 rebounds. Brandon Ingram is dropping buckets. He had 27 points and nine rebounds. Devonte’ Graham also had a great night scoring 21 points and seven assists. It was nice to watch was Herb Jones defensively. Although he did not score in the game, the defense was amazing. That is exactly what New Orleans is looking for when it comes to defensive wings.

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The Atlanta Hawks are 2-1 on the season after coming off of a 122-104 win against the Detroit Pistons. Trae Young scored a game-high 32 points and added nine assists. Cam Reddish came off of the bench and had 17 points. The Hawks used impressive depth, as nine players came off the bench and got minutes compared to the five that came off of New Orleans’ bench.

2021-2022 season

New Orleans and Atlanta play twice this year. The first game is on Wednesday in New Orleans. The other game is in Atlanta on March 20th, 2022.


These two teams have played 39 times and the Hawks have a 20-19 series advantage. Atlanta is also on a five game win streak vs the New Orleans Pelicans. The last game was on April 6th, 2021 and the Hawks got the 123-107 victory. Trae Young had 30 points and 12 assists and Zion led the game in scoring with 34 points.

Keys to the game

Bench points are going to be a factor. The Pels’ bench has yet to have a player score in double digits. The reserves need to give Ingram and the starters some help, as the starting five has already played big minutes and accounted for most of the Pelicans’ points. The bench needs to come off with energy and not get the Pels in a hole like they have so far.

This is a quick Hawks team. The New Orleans Pelicans need to be disciplined when guarding them, stay in front of penetration and trust their teammates to help. To slow down Trae Young, the Pelicans will likely use just about everyone, including Herb Jones, who can use his size and length to bully Young and get into passing lanes.

Kira Lewis Jr. needs to have a breakout game. He has been quiet so far this season but the New Orleans Pelicans could use his speed to try and contain Young, which would also be a confidence booster for Lewis Jr.

If the New Orleans Pelicans want to get their second win they will need to contain Trae Young with a group defensive effort and get more from their bench.

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