New Orleans Pelicans at Indiana Pacers
The Indiana Pacers (38-20) will host the New Orleans Pelicans (26-33) on Friday night, as both teams look
to kick off the second-half of the season. The Pacers are currently 3rdin the Eastern Conference with a
22-8 home record, while the Pelicans continue to figure out whether or not they will play Anthony Davis for
the remainder of the season. General manager Danny Ferry has attempted to convince the NBA to re-think
their position of forcing the Pelicans to play Davis. AD has said publicly that he wants to play out the
remainder of the season, but that seems less likely to happen by the day. Coach Alvin Gentry recently said
this distraction was a “dumpster fire,” while NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called this is a “very
unhealthy situation for the team” and for Davis. This would make sense for both sides if Davis was able to
sit out considering he is basically guaranteed to get traded this offseason. Davis wouldn’t risk injury while
sitting out and the Pelicans could give other guys on the team more opportunities. New Orleans is set to
pick in the lottery and should do all they can to get the highest draft pick possible. The Pacers are -6 ½ in
Pelicans Interesting in Second Half of Season
The Pelicans will also reduce the minutes of point guard Jrue Holiday, Ferry said Thursday. The team
plans to give more minutes to young players as it focuses on the future. During the All-Star break, the
Pelicans fired GM Dell Demps and replaced him with Ferry. After the change, there were discussions
between Davis and the team about altering the plan for him to continue playing every game, sources said.
Not playing Davis when healthy would subject the Pelicans to fines up to $100,000 per game under NBA
rules. With Davis and Holiday both having their minutes cut, expect to see more playing time for Julius
Randle, Jahlil Okafor, Frank Jackson and Tim Frazier.
Pacers Looking to Start 2nd Half Strong
Nate McMillan has done an outstanding job as head coach of the Pacers. He has managed to keep this
team afloat, even after losing Victor Oladipo for the season. Indiana held a six-game winning streak right
before the All-Star break before losing to Milwaukee. They have depth at the shooting guard position with
Tyreke Evans and Wesley Matthews. Matthews was traded and subsequently bought out by the Knicks.
Indiana didn’t hesitate picking up the veteran shooting guard, as Matthews said it was “huge” that the
Pacers guaranteed him a starting role.
“That’s how I viewed myself and that’s how this organization views me,” Matthews said. “That’s big right
there.” Coach McMillan confirmed it, adding that Matthews “didn’t come here to sit on the bench.”
Pacers Top Pelicans
That makes a starting lineup of Darren Collison, Wesley Matthews, Bojan Bogdanovic, Thaddeus Young
and Myles Turner with Domantas Sabonis and Tyreke Evans coming off the bench. In the Eastern
Conference that is certainly a team that can make its way into the playoffs. If the playoffs were to start
today then Indiana would take on the six-seeded Brooklyn Nets. The Pacers are going to win this game
easily. Take Indiana at home.