The New Orleans Pelicans will begin their 2021-22 NBA preseason against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The two Western Conference teams were unable to enter the 2020-21 playoffs.
After a disappointing previous season, this preseason matchup between the bottom seeded teams will be an important game as they hope to have a better upcoming regular season.
Fixture - New Orleans Pelicans vs Minnesota Timberwolves | NBA Preseason 2021-22.
Date & Time - Monday, October 4, 2021, 8:00 PM ET (Tuesday, 5:30 AM IST)
Venue - Target Center, Minneapolis, MN.
New Orleans Pelicans Preview
With Lonzo Ball moving to the Chicago Bulls, the New Orleans Pelicans have a new point guard in Devonte' Graham. On paper, Graham has been a better scorer than Ball but lacks the same level of passing and rebounding capability. It will be interesting to see how he fares with the likes of Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.
The New Orleans Pelicans were seeded 11th in the west in the 2020-21 regular season with a 31-41 win-loss record. Despite having one of the most commanding paint players in Zion, the team was unable to leave a mark on the league. This season will serve as a premonition for Zion and the Pelicans' future in the league.
Key Player - Zion Williamson
Going into his third season, Zion Williamson has proved himself to be a force to be reckoned with. Agreed that he is not as athletic as he was in high school or college and has definitely gained weight but his success as a scorer is undeniable.
He averaged 27 points in his sophomore season while playing in 61 games. As the greatest scoring asset for the New Orleans Pelicans, his combination with Graham as the primary feeder will be interesting to see.
New Orleans Pelicans Predicted Lineup
G - Josh Hart, G - Devonte' Graham, F - Zion Williamson, F - Brandon Ingram, C - Jonas Valanciunas
Minnesota Timberwolves Preview
The Minnesota Timberwolves were one of the bottom three teams in the west. Their record of losing 49 games was more than double their winning record (23 wins). A team that has appeared in only one playoffs series in the last 15 seasons will hope to start their preseason with a victory under their belt.
Over the offseason, the Minnesota Timberwolves brought in Patrick Beverley to aid the offensive-heavy squad. One of the peskiest defenders in the league, Beverley's fierce defensive abilities might just be the respite that Minnesota needed.
Key Player - Anthony Edwards
If not for LaMelo Ball, Anthony Edwards would have undoubtedly won the 2020-21 Rookie of the Year award. In fact, a better scorer than the youngest Ball brother, Edwards' scoring ability was the best amongst the 2020 draft class.
Not a great downtown shooter, he is a shooting guard blessed with exceptional athleticism. He can leap higher than bigger men and drive against tough shots.
In his sophomore year, if the young shooting guard can remain healthy, he will top his 2020-21's 19.3 points per game average. He holds the potential to be an even better scorer than Karl-Anthony Towns.
Minnesota Timberwolves Predicted Lineup
G - Malik Beasley, G - D'Angelo Russell, F - Anthony Edwards, F - Taurean Prince, C - Karl-Anthony Towns
Pelicans vs Timberwolves Prediction
While Ingram and Zion are without a doubt unguardable around the paint, the Pelicans squad lacks the necessary three-point depth. Their offense is highly dependent on slashing, driving and mid-range.
At the same time, the Timberwolves lack defenders capable of efficiently stopping Williamson, but make up for it with a variety of offensive options. The Minnesota Timberwolves have slashers, downtown shooters and post-up players that can turn the tide against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Where to watch Pelicans vs. Timberwolves game
The Pelicans vs Timberwolves game can be watched online on NBA TV by purchasing the league pass or on Bally Sports.
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Also check out: Complete NBA Preseason TV Schedule for 2021
Q. Who will win in the matchup between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Minnesota Timberwolves?
New Orleans Pelicans
47 votes so far