Jonas Valančiūnas jump ball against Nikola Vucevic

Pelicans practice report presented by HUB International: More big tests vs. bigs on road trip

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer
Congratulations Jonas Valanciunas on your new contract extension. Now get ready for some serious battles in the paint.

After signing Wednesday morning to remain under contract with New Orleans beyond this season, hours later Valanciunas matched up against Philadelphia center Joel Embiid, runner-up in 2020-21 league MVP voting. On Friday, Valanciunas will face Chicago pivot Nikola Vucevic, a two-time All-Star who has given New Orleans’ defense fits in the past. That’s followed by a Saturday back-to-back against two-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns of Minnesota. The Pelicans wrap up their three-game road trip Monday, meeting Towns and the T-Wolves for a second straight time. Whew.


“It’s definitely a challenge, but it’s the league,” Pelicans first-year coach Willie Green said. “It’s what you have to (face) to be a good team. We’ve got to play against those guys, but not only play against them, but bring a level of toughness, a level of pace and force with our offense.”


It’s uncertain whether New Orleans will have Josh Hart available during its trek to the Upper Midwest. Green told local media after Thursday’s practice that Hart has right quad tendinosis. Hart left Wednesday’s game vs. Philadelphia due to the injury. If the forward/guard can’t play, the Pelicans will need to fill his vacated spot in the starting lineup. Green said of that decision, “We don’t even know what Josh’s availability is yet, so we’re still waiting to hear back. Once we do, we’ll start looking at who we need to put in the lineup.”

Brandon Ingram on second win in a row | Pelicans at Jazz 11-26-21

Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram speaks following Friday night's win versus the Utah Jazz.

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Brandon Ingram on second win in a row | Pelicans at Jazz 11-26-21

Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram speaks following Friday night's win versus the Utah Jazz.
Nov 27, 2021  |  04:14

Jonas Valanciunas on Willy Hernangomez improvement | Pelicans at Jazz

Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas speaks after Friday night's win versus the Utah Jazz.
Nov 27, 2021  |  04:05

Devonte' Graham on winning shot | Pelicans at Jazz

Pelicans guard Devonte' Graham speaks after Friday night's win versus the Utah Jazz.
Nov 27, 2021  |  06:39

Willy Hernangomez on his production, Devonte' Graham | Pelicans at Jazz 11-26-21

Pelicans center Willy Hernangomez speaks following Friday night's win against the Utah Jazz.
Nov 27, 2021  |  05:06

Willie Green on winning back to back games | Pelicans at Jazz 11-26-21

Pelicans head coach Willie Green speaks following Friday's win against the Utah Jazz.
Nov 27, 2021  |  05:50

Pelicans Stat Leader Highlights: Nickeil Alexander-Walker scores 15 points vs. Utah Jazz

Pelicans Stat Leader Highlights: Nickeil Alexander-Walker scores 15 points vs. Utah Jazz
Nov 26, 2021  |  01:22

Pelicans Stat Leader Highlights: Brandon Ingram scores 21 points vs. Utah Jazz

Pelicans Stat Leader Highlights: Brandon Ingram scores 21 points vs. Utah Jazz
Nov 26, 2021  |  01:54

Devonte' Graham with ice in his veins! | Pelicans at Jazz 11-26-21

Devonte' Graham with ice in his veins!
Nov 26, 2021  |  00:34

Brandon Ingram saves it for a Willy Hernangomez 2 | Pelicans at Jazz 11-26-21

Brandon Ingram saves it for a Willy Hernangomez 2
Nov 26, 2021  |  00:16

Nickeil Alexander-Walker spin and in | Pelicans at Jazz 11-26-21

Nickeil Alexander-Walker spin and in
Nov 26, 2021  |  00:14

Willy Hernangomez with the buzzer-beating 3 | Pelicans at Jazz 11-26-21

Willy Hernangomez with the buzzer-beating 3
Nov 26, 2021  |  00:18

Nickeil Alexander-Walker drains the 3 off the assist by Tomas Satoransky | Pelicans at Jazz 11-26-21

Nickeil Alexander-Walker drains the 3 off the assist by Tomas Satoransky
Nov 26, 2021  |  00:22

Herb Jones and Josh Hart: defensive menaces | Pelicans at Jazz 11-26-21

Herb Jones and Josh Hart: defensive menaces
Nov 26, 2021  |  00:16

Josh Hart Postgame Interview | Pelicans vs Wizards 11-24-21

New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart postgame interview following the Pelicans' win vs. the Washington Wizards.
Nov 24, 2021  |  07:12

Jonas Valanciunas Postgame Interview | Pelicans vs Wizards 11-24-21

New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valančiūnas postgame interview following the Pelicans' win vs. the Washington Wizards.
Nov 24, 2021  |  04:02

Herb Jones Postgame Interview | Pelicans vs Wizards 11-24-21

New Orleans Pelicans forward Herbert Jones postgame interview following the Pelicans' win vs. the Washington Wizards.
Nov 24, 2021  |  03:58

Devonte' Graham Postgame Interview | Pelicans vs Wizards 11-24-21

New Orleans Pelicans guard Devonte' Graham postgame interview following the Pelicans' win vs. the Washington Wizards.
Nov 24, 2021  |  03:40

Willie Green recaps win vs. Washington | Pelicans-Wizards Postgame

New Orleans Pelicans head coach Willie Green postgame interview following the Pelicans' win vs. the Washington Wizards.
Nov 24, 2021  |  08:39

Brandon Ingram Postgame Interview | Pelicans vs Wizards 11-24-21

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram postgame interview following the Pelicans' win vs. the Washington Wizards.
Nov 24, 2021  |  04:51

New Orleans Pelicans Highlights vs. Washington Wizards 11-24-21

New Orleans Pelicans game highlights vs. Washington Wizards (11-24-2021).
Nov 24, 2021  |  03:06

Highlights: Jonas Valanciunas scores 21 points in 24 minutes vs. Washington Wizards 11-24-21

New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas game highlights vs. the Washington Wizards (11/24/2021).
Nov 24, 2021  |  01:32

Highlights: Brandon Ingram drops 26 vs. Washington Wizards 10-24-21

Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram vs. the Washington Wizards (11/24/2021).
Nov 24, 2021  |  02:04

Highlights: Josh Hart efficient 16 points vs. Washington Wizards 11-24-21

Highlights from New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart vs. the Washington Wizards (11/24/2021).
Nov 24, 2021  |  02:00

Pelicans 4th quarter highlights vs. Washington Wizards 11-24-2021

New Orleans Pelicans vs. the Washington Wizards 4th quarter highlights (11/24/2021).
Nov 24, 2021  |  01:53

Willy Hernangómez drains the triple | Pelicans-Wizards Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans center Willy Hernangómez joins the fun from downtown vs. the Washington Wizards (11/24/2021).
Nov 24, 2021  |  00:13

Pelicans 3rd quarter highlights vs. Washington Wizards 11-24-2021

New Orleans Pelicans vs. the Washington Wizards 3rd quarter highlights (11/24/2021).
Nov 24, 2021  |  02:15

Josh Hart buzzer-beating mid-court and-1 | Pelicans-Wizards Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart beats the buzzer from the logo and gets the four-point play opportunity vs. the Washington Wizards (11/24/2021).
Nov 24, 2021  |  00:46

Josh Hart banks it home | Pelicans-Wizards Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart with the smooth bank shot late in the shot clock vs. the Washington Wizards (11/24/2021).
Nov 24, 2021  |  00:16

Jonas Valanciunas' paint moves on point | Pelicans-Wizards Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas showing off his strong paint game vs. the Washington Wizards (11/24/2021).
Nov 24, 2021  |  00:29

Josh Hart starts half with an And-1 | Pelicans-Wizards Highlights

New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart with the strong take to start the 2nd half vs. the Washington Wizards (11/24/2021).
Nov 24, 2021  |  00:20

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