The New Orleans Pelicans play their third preseason game of the year on Friday against the Utah Jazz still needing to show more promising signs.
The New Orleans Pelicans are off to a 2-0 start this preseason and have shown us plenty of great signs about the year that lies ahead.
While preseason wins and losses do not ultimately matter and every fan is guilty of taking them too seriously one way or the other, they absolutely can serve as a peek inside of what is to come during the regular season.
And for the Pelicans thus far, that peek inside has been a very promising one. It is not the two wins that we are concerned with but how the Pelicans got the two wins. Zion Williamson already looks like the real deal and several players, such as Nickeil Alexander-Walker, stood out.
We would still like to see some things out of the Pelicans leading into the regular season. Not every game is going to be the same and they are not going to show us the same positive signs in every single game.
However, if we can just get two of the three things that we want to see then it would be an absolute win. If we can somehow get all three, then at that point, we are playing with house money.
Here are the three things that we most want to see in the New Orleans Pelicans’ upcoming preseason showdown vs. the Utah Jazz.
1. Some three-point consistency from Lonzo Ball
Lonzo Ball has adopted a new shooting form and his promising-looking three-point shot was actually one of our positive takeaways from the Pelicans’ first preseason game. Ball took a step back in his last game, so we would like to see another good outing from him in this game.
That would prove that we can at least start getting more consistency out of Ball beyond the arc. Being able to sandwich a bad shooting game between two shooting games shows us that he is going to have more good games than not, especially if he keeps that trend in the preseason.
Suddenly, it will become a bad three-point-shooting game that will become the anomaly, instead of the good game. The Pelicans do not need him to drain five a game but if he can make three of six every game then that is a huge win.
2. A big game from Brandon Ingram
Last game was Zion Williamson’s game as he dropped 29 points and we are hoping that Friday can be Brandon Ingram‘s game. While he does not need to score 29 points, it would be nice to see Ingram take over this game and be the team’s leading scorer.
Ingram had a good showing against the Hawks with a 19-point game but then took a step back against the Bulls with just a nine-point game. And even in that 19-point showing, Ingram never felt like the team’s go-to guy as he sprinkled some shots in throughout the game.
Ingram is primed for this year to be his breakout year, especially in a contract year. It would be extremely promising if we can get at least one or two breakout games out of Ingram this preseason.
3. More J.J. Redick
I get that it is the preseason and the New Orleans Pelicans want to focus on the younger players on the roster but it would still be nice to see J.J. Redick have bigger of a role than he has had so far.
Redick has been sort of an afterthought in these two games. He scored just three points in nine minutes of action against the Bulls and scored seven points in 13 minutes against the Hawks.
The last thing the Pelicans need to do is overwork the veteran Redick in the preseason and risk injury. However, it would be nice to see them take the kid gloves out of Redick and let him go out there for 20 minutes in this game and just jack up three-point shots.
Okay, maybe not 20 minutes per game, but it would still be nice to see a run of the New Orleans Pelicans’ offense where it is solely dedicated to getting Redick in motion off-ball and hitting him for open threes.