Game Preview: Pelicans vs. Wizards - January 8, 2014

Pelicans vs. Wizards Game Preview

Following an arduous Jan. 1-7 road trip that began in Minneapolis and ended in Miami, the New Orleans Pelicans are back in action immediately Wednesday, hosting the Washington Wizards in the second game of a back-to-back set. The Pelicans visited the two-time NBA defending champion Heat in South Florida on Tuesday night.

New Orleans and Washington are both building teams around a recent No. 1 overall pick from the University of Kentucky. Anthony Davis was selected by the then-Hornets with the top overall choice in 2012, while the Wizards chose John Wall first in 2010. The Pelicans and Wizards also had similar records entering the 2014 calendar year, though Washington was in much better position to potentially reach the NBA playoffs, due to it being a member of the weaker Eastern Conference.

In the Pelicans’ first meeting of the regular season with the Wizards, they’ll try to extend their home winning streak to five games. In December, New Orleans reeled off home victories against Detroit, Memphis, Denver and Portland. The second and final meeting of 2013-14 between these interconference foes isn’t until Feb. 22, when New Orleans visits Washington.

Washington is spearheaded by its talented backcourt of Wall and second-year shooting guard Bradley Beal. The franchise representing our nation’s capital also receives major contributions from center Marcin Gortat, small forward Trevor Ariza – a former New Orleans starter – and power forward Nene. The No. 3 overall pick in last year’s draft, rookie forward Otto Porter has played relatively sparingly, partly due to injuries. The Wizards’ bench also includes LSU product Garrett Temple.

Pelicans Jrue Holiday
Intriguing matchup: Point guard
Jrue Holiday vs. John Wall
In a league that has become dominated by offensive-minded point guards, Holiday and Wall are two of the elite defensive players at their position. Holiday was named to the Eastern Conference All-Star team last season as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, due to his ability to excel on both ends of the floor. Holiday is an outstanding one-on-one defender, frequently taking on the challenge of slowing down some of the NBA’s best point guards. Meanwhile, Wall is a force on defense who comes up with steals and uses his 6-4 frame and wingspan to block shots at a high rate.
Wizards John Wall




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