The New Orleans Pelicans take on the San Antonio Spurs in the fourth preseason game of the year with a few players in particular that need a big day.
The preseason has been great thus far for the New Orleans Pelicans. While wins and losses ultimately do not matter, the Pelicans are 3-0 in the preseason and have shown us a lot of positive things about the team heading into 2019.
Zion Williamson has looked like the real deal and has been fantastic through three games. Brandon Ingram has shown great flashes, Lonzo Ball‘s new jumper has made a noticeable impact on his shot and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, perhaps above all else, has been the biggest standout.
While it is not concrete evidence of success, it is reaffirming to see that the Pelicans, thus far, have been living up to the promise that we all expected them to have this season.
Not everyone has been great for the Pelicans, however. And while it is way too early to mean any significant, not having any good showings in the preseason can affect a player’s demeanor.
Here are the three players that need a good game the most against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.
1. Derrick Favors
Derrick Favors faced off with his old team, the Utah Jazz, in the last preseason game and did not do much for his new team. Favors had just two points and two rebounds in 11 minutes of action.
The Pelicans do seem more focused on developing the young players and figuring out who is going to go where in the rotation. With Favors being the veteran that is likely a lock for the starting lineup, it is understandable why nothing has really run though him thus far.
It needs to be better than this, though. Favors has just 13 points in three games. In two of the game, he combined for 20 minutes, against the Bulls he played 22.
It would be nice to see Favors out there for around 15-20 minutes and see the Pelicans start running the pick and roll through him. Favors is a great pick and roll player and that combination alongside Lonzo Ball could be one of the Pelicans’ most reliable ways to score this season.
It does not need to be some crazy scoring game. Just give us a few highlights and a display of chemistry with his point guard.
2. Josh Hart
With Alexander-Walker thriving thus far, Hart is absolutely playing for his role in the rotation. Healthy competition is great for the New Orleans Pelicans, as it is only going to elevate both guys.
Hart is a talented combo guard who had some really good games with the Los Angeles Lakers, especially in his rookie year before LeBron James and the rest of the veterans joined the roster.
Holiday is playing against the Spurs, so Hart might not get a lot of time on the court. When he is out there, though, he needs to make the most of it.
3. J.J. Redick
J.J. Redick has probably been the most disappointing player thus far for the New Orleans Pelicans. Like Favors, Redick really does not need to prove anything in the preseason as his role as the veteran sharpshooter is already locked down.
But still, Redick should be better than he has been thus far. He played 17 minutes against the Jazz without scoring and had 10 points combined the first two games of the preseason.
Redick has attempted just four three-point shots in three games, making one. Again, I understand why that is the case, but it would still be nice to get at least one good game out of Redick.
The chances of Hart and Redick both having great games with Holiday playing is slim, so we will take one or the other.