Game Preview: Pelicans vs. Pistons - December 11, 2013

Pelicans vs. Pistons Game Preview


Playing for the first time this season without Anthony Davis (broken left hand) and Tyreke Evans (sprained left ankle), the New Orleans Pelicans will try to halt their two-game losing streak Wednesday, hosting the Detroit Pistons in an interconference matchup. The Pelicans and Pistons are scheduled to face each other twice per season, with the second meeting of 2013-14 set for Jan. 24 in Michigan.

New Orleans (9-10) began the season with a solid 5-2 home record, but has dropped three straight in its arena, including narrow recent defeats to Golden State and Dallas. The Pelicans will try to get back in the win column against the Pistons, a rare Eastern Conference opponent for New Orleans during the month of December. New Orleans is 6-2 against the East, highlighted by victories over Charlotte, Cleveland, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia (twice). The Pelicans have not lost a game to an East foe since opening the regular season 0-2 with consecutive defeats to Indiana and Orlando.

Sporting a 10-11 record entering a Tuesday home game vs. Minnesota, Detroit had moved into the top eight of the East standings. The Pistons are trying to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2009. The three-time NBA champion franchise (winning the league crown in 1989, 1990 and 2004) last registered a winning record in 2007-08.

Detroit’s hopes for better days ahead are based largely on a talented young frontcourt group of Josh Smith, Andre Drummond and New Orleans area native Greg Monroe. Monroe, a Georgetown University product, attended Helen Cox High School in Harvey. The power forward is Detroit’s third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder, having started each of his club’s first 21 games.

Pelicans Jrue Holiday
Intriguing matchup:Point guard
Jrue Holiday vs. Brandon Jennings
Two fifth-year floor generals starting fresh with new teams meet in the Crescent City. Jennings spent his previous four seasons with the Milwaukee Bucks before being traded to Detroit, while Holiday was an All-Star for Philadelphia in 2012-13, his fourth and final campaign with the 76ers. Entering this week, both players ranked in the top 10 of the NBA in assists, averaging around eight per game. Jennings had 153 assists in his first 19 games, two more than Holiday’s 151 in the same number of contests.
Pistons Brandon Jennings