Pelicans Game Live: The New Orleans Pelicans hope to stay sharp in their final matchup before the real games kick off. They won their first two scrimmages handily behind good shooting and strong bench efforts. The last scrimmage against Denver had a bit of a carnival atmosphere, as Denver was missing several key players and had to start a lineup of almost all seven-footers.This led to some unlikely lineup combinations and matchups, including Jrue Holiday as the primary defender on Nikola Jokic.
Who Play: Jazz vs Pelicans
When: Thursday, July 30, 3:30 PM ET
How to watch: Click Here
On how the five-on-five scrimmages at practice have helped the team prepare:
“We know we don’t have any time to warm up, we’ve got to win as many games as we can in these next eight, so we’ve tried to make the practices as game-like as possible, and I think that’s prepared us for the scrimmages, and it’s prepared us for the games that we need to win.”
On what he thinks the team’s ceiling is in the bubble after these three scrimmages:
“I think last night (win over Milwaukee) was a positive night, but I don’t look too much into scrimmages. I think we came out there and we did what we were supposed to do. I thought we got a little better, and that’s all that really matters. The real games start on Thursday and that’s what I’m focused on.”A player who began competing in pressure-packed basketball games in a previous century (Redick’s Virginia high school career started in the late 1990s) now has 110 NBA playoff games under his belt. That’s more than the combined tally of the rest of the New Orleans squad, which totals 95, via Derrick Favors (31), Jrue Holiday (30), E’Twaun Moore (21), Darius Miller (9) and Sindarius Thornwell (4). Although Redick appreciates the uniqueness of his career-long team consistency, he pointed out July 18 that he’s itching to make a deeper advancement in the NBA’s bracket.
“I don’t know that it means anything to me, because it’s just normal,” Redick responded to a question about the significance of being a perennial playoff participant. “I don’t mean that in any sort of pretentious way – it’s just what I’m accustomed to, playing deep into the season.
“The two years I had in Orlando where we made the Finals and the conference finals, that was pretty early in my career. We had everyone under contract and I thought it was just going to be an annual thing (to advance that far). But I haven’t been back to the conference finals since 2010. It’s nice to make the playoffs, but the deeper meaning for me is the pursuit of a championship. I’m toward the end of the road (of his career) here, so I’m hoping that becomes a reality at some point.”
As New Orleans (28-36) attempts to build a team that consistently competes for NBA titles, Redick’s extensive track record and leadership have been invaluable, particularly after the Pelicans endured a 13-game losing streak and 7-23 start. Along with Favors, he’s provided a steadying presence for many of the club’s untested young pros.
“JJ is a Grade A professional,” Ball said. “He comes early and gets his work in. He goes hard every day in practice. You don’t ever see him complaining, taking days off. You can come to him for any advice, whether it’s basketball or non-basketball related, he’s going to help you out. JJ has been around awhile. He’s been through a lot in life, seen a lot of things, so he can help all types of different guys.”
When combining his NBA regular season and playoff experience, Redick has logged over 25,000 minutes in the league, but runs and moves like a player with much less mileage, partly by maintaining high-level conditioning. During the league’s hiatus, Redick actually managed to lose weight, helping him to prepare physically for the restart. He’s not sure how much longer he’ll play in the NBA, but has shown no signs of slowing down in his first season with the Pelicans, shooting 45.2 percent from three-point range. That ranks third among all players, behind only George Hill and Seth Curry.
“I just turned 36, but I feel like I look at least (as young as) 34 and a half,” the NBA’s eighth-oldest active player joked of his age. “I feel good still. I feel like I have years left in my body.”
Seeding games to watch
New Orleans opens its eight-game slate with two opponents that feature three of the NBA’s premier bench scorers, making it important for Redick and Pelicans reserves to match production. Utah’s Jordan Clarkson (15.1 ppg) ranks seventh in bench scoring among all players – and fifth among those in Orlando, because Detroit’s Derrick Rose (18.1) and Washington’s Davis Bertans (15.4) are not participating. On Saturday, the Clippers’ Lou Williams (18.7) and Montrezl Harrell (18.6) form one of the league’s premier bench duos, though Williams will miss the game as part of a league-mandated 10-day quarantine.
Incidentally, among Redick’s four former NBA teams (Orlando, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Clippers), the Pelicans are scheduled to face two of them, including the Magic in their Aug. 13 seeding-game finale. New Orleans has two meetings vs. Sacramento, which Redick beat at Golden 1 Center in January by banking in a left-handed floater over Richaun Holmes.
Streaming is limited to viewers within a 75-mile radius of the Smoothie King Center, per NBA regional broadcast rules. The livestream will be accompanied by the Pelicans radio broadcast on ESPN New Orleans 100.3 FM.
The Pelicans resume play with their first scrimmage, presented by Entergy, on Wednesday, July 22 against the Brooklyn Nets. New Orleans’ second scrimmage, presented by Chevron, is scheduled for Saturday, July 25 versus the Denver Nuggets.FOX Sports New Orleans will televise the final scrimmage on Monday, July 27 against the Milwaukee Bucks. Local television broadcasts will originate from the Smoothie King Center with play-by-play announcer Joel Meyers, color analyst Antonio Daniels and sideline reporter Jennifer Hale calling the games remotely.
Additionally, Pelicans games will be streamed on FOX Sports GO, which is currently available on mobile and tablet devices, including iOS and Android as well as foxsportsgo.com. FOX Sports GO is also available on connected devices including, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Roku Players and Roku TV, and Xbox One. Fans can download the app for free from the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Amazon App Store, Roku App Store, XBOX One App Store and Windows App Store.
ESPN Radio New Orleans 100.3 FM, the team’s radio flagship station and home of the Pelicans Radio Network presented by Smoothie King, will broadcast the team’s three scrimmages in addition to all eight seeding games remotely from the Smoothie King Center with play-by-play announcer Todd Graffagnini, color analyst John DeShazier and sideline reporter Caroline Gonzalez. ESPN Radio New Orleans 100.3 FM will also feature pregame and postgame shows with studio host Daniel Sallerson.
ESPN Radio New Orleans 100.3 FM will continue to air “Pelicans Weekly” on Thursday nights at 6:00 p.m. CT. The thirty-minute show hosted by Todd Graffagnini will feature exclusive interviews with Pelicans coaches, executives, and players, as well as guests from around the league.
Tonight’s scrimmage against the Bucks should give us a more realistic glimpse of what things might look like when the games get real.
Aside from Zion Williamson, who is still in quarantine, the Pelicans should be at full strength and the regulars will likely play more minutes in the final tuneup.
It will also be interesting to see if Alvin Gentry tips his hand on rotations, as the bench has played well and several guys have made a bid to be involved in the real games.Obviously, we try not to have any differences. Coach Jeff is our defensive guy, but Coach Fred is doing a great job of taking the spot over for him. For us, I think it’s just about effort. We have the guys that can stay in front. We have the guys that can stop the ball, contest at the rim, so it’s just a matter of being in the right spots. I think a big part of our defense is talking. When we talk we tend to play pretty well.”