Brooklyn's Kevin Durant reaches for a rebound vs. New Orleans last season

Top 10 Pelicans Home Games of 2021-22: No. 9 vs. Nets

by Jim Eichenhofer

Friday, Nov. 12 (7 p.m.)

Why it’s on the list
There are at least three reasons – and their names are Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. As the most high-powered and star-studded attack in the league, Brooklyn led the NBA in offensive efficiency last season at 117.3 points per 100 possessions, even though its much-discussed trio rarely played together. The Nets figure to be much healthier during the 2021-22 campaign and could be developing additional chemistry by the time they visit the Crescent City for game 13 of their 82-game schedule. By then Durant, Harden and Irving may have already surpassed their total of simultaneous game appearances (eight) from the previous regular season.

Where it falls on the New Orleans schedule
Mid-November features a fairly brutal stretch from an opponent standpoint for New Orleans, consisting of five consecutive foes that qualified for the 2021 playoffs (Brooklyn, Memphis, at Washington, at Miami, LA Clippers). The end of November launches a second span of six consecutive postseason qualifiers, stretching into a pair of early-December games vs. Dallas.

What’s new in Brooklyn
In his annual NBA offseason-moves power rankings, David Aldridge of The Athletic placed the Nets third out of 30 teams (behind only Houston, LA Clippers), acknowledging their ability to improve what was already a loaded roster. Brooklyn added longtime San Antonio guard Patty Mills, a consistent thorn in the Pelicans’ sides over the years, along with forward DeAndre’ Bembry and 2020-21 Pelicans forward James Johnson. In the draft, the Nets may have landed a steal with the 27th pick by selecting LSU product Cameron Thomas, who excelled in summer league. Brooklyn’s most notable summer departures were Jeff Green (Denver), Spencer Dinwiddie (Washington) and Landry Shamet (Phoenix).

#PelicansHomeGamesBracket results
In a significant “upset,” the fourth-seeded Nets were ousted in Round 1 by 13th-seeded Memphis, a voting result that perhaps could be attributed to the likeability of the rising Grizzlies among basketball fans, particularly relative to that of the superteam Nets. Memphis prevailed by a 58 percent-42 percent margin.

Other 2021-22 games between these teams
Saturday, Jan. 15, New Orleans at Brooklyn

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