Behind the Numbers presented by HUB International: Pelicans at Thunder (10/6/17)
A look at three key numbers related to Friday’s preseason game at Chesapeake Energy Arena between New Orleans at Oklahoma City (7 p.m., WRNO 99.5 FM and live-streaming at Pelicans.com/live):
4: Pelicans players who logged 30-plus minutes in Tuesday’s preseason opener vs. Chicago, part of Alvin Gentry’s plan to give his first unit more playing time during New Orleans’ abbreviated four-game exhibition slate. Don’t expect to see a ton of Anthony Davis (33 minutes vs. Bulls), DeMarcus Cousins (33), Rajon Rondo (31) or Jrue Holiday (30) during the Oct. 13 preseason finale at Memphis, so this weekend’s road trip at OKC and Chicago serve as the quartet’s final tune-ups prior to the Oct. 18 regular season opener against the Grizzlies. By contrast, in the Thunder’s preseason opener vs. Houston, only role player Jerami Grant logged 30-plus minutes. Paul George and Carmelo Anthony were on the floor for 26 and 20 minutes, respectively, against the Rockets.
16: Three-pointers allowed by New Orleans on Tuesday vs. Chicago, a key factor in the Pelicans’ 113-109 loss. New Orleans will try to tighten up defensively against OKC, after also seeing the Bulls shoot 50.6 percent from the field. The Thunder finished in the bottom tier of the NBA last regular season in three-point makes (26th at 8.4 per game), but then again so did the Bulls (28th at 7.6), albeit with much different personnel for both squads. George is a 37.0 percent career shooter from beyond the arc and has connected on 2.6 treys per game for two consecutive seasons. Anthony is a bit less accurate (34.6 percent career), but remains a threat from deep (2.0 threes per game last season with New York).
4: Pelicans reserves who got into Tuesday’s game in the first half, a group that included Ian Clark (23 total minutes), E’Twaun Moore (22), Darius Miller (22) and Cheick Diallo (14). Overall, New Orleans reserves fared well in a few categories against the Bulls, including shooting 17/35 from the floor. Five different subs attempted at least one three-pointer, topped by Moore going 4/6 at the arc. Diallo was a plus-20 in the plus-minus category, while Moore was plus-12.