New Orleans Pelicans at Cleveland Cavaliers Match Preview
The Pelicans will be in Cleveland to go up against the Cavs on Sunday night, and the game should be very intriguing. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are both currently healthy and playing some terrific basketball. On the other side, Cleveland almost came back from a 38-point deficit against Toronto just last night, so anything can really happen here.
The injury bug has been plugged in New Orleans all season, and now Lonzo Ball will not be available tonight. As a result of that, though, Isaiah Thomas might get some serious minutes and try to show other teams around the league that he could become a fixture like he wants as a Celtic. At the end of the day, the Pelicans have some holes in their lineup, but they are a winning bunch.
As for the Cavs, Collin Sexton and Darius Garland are very good basketball players and will make the difference between wins and losses when push comes to shove. Look for Isaiah Hartenstein to have a strong performance as he did on Saturday night.
It has also been really nice to see a healthy Kevin Love out there making a positive impact, as he has dealt with so many injuries over the course of the year and so many doubters trying to say he can’t play the game anymore.
Pelicans Seeking Win No. 24
When Isaiah came back to play for the Pelicans this year, he chose to rock jersey number 24. He did so to pay tribute to his basketball Idol Kobe Bryant, who, of course, wore that number for the final ten years of his historic playing career. When in this game against Cleveland, would give New Orleans 24 on the year, making it extremely significant and symbolic.
This is a team that has been very up-and-down this year and still doesn’t know how to properly play defense in this league. On paper, having Eric Bledsoe plus Ingram and Zion, Steven Adams, and Ball should make you a very successful ball club.
But the game isn’t played on paper; it’s played on the court. And on that court, the Pelicans defense is not always getting the job done.
Cavs Seek Win No. 20
When you fall behind by 38 points in an NBA game, forget about how you started. As a team, you just have to play hard and try and make the game as close as possible so that you can take some positive things into the next game that you’re going to play. The Cavs got back to win 12, and if Collin Sexton‘s layup was not blocked, the Cavs might’ve actually come all the way back in that one.
Cleveland is shorthanded, yes, but they do have a lot of talent here. Rookie Isaac Okoro is playing some very good defense and hitting some shots, while Dean Wade has been an incredible story since he joined the starting lineup prior to the All-Star break.
The return of Dellavedova has really given life to the second unit, while Taurean Prince suddenly remembered how to score. The Pelicans beat the Cavs 116–82 when they met earlier in the season. Time to get a win and forget about the last one.
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