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Pregame: Pelicans present a strong challenge for Wolves

  • Blog Post by: Kent Youngblood
  • January 1, 2014 - 6:16 PM

Greetings from Target Center, where one team will emerge from tonight’s Wolves-Pelicans game a .500 team.

The Wolves’ job got a little harder with the news that guard Eric Gordon, who missed the last three games after hurting his hip, plans on returning even though he’s not quite 100 percent yet. “I’ll have to tolerate pain for a little while,” Gordon told the New Orleans media this morning. “I just think I’m able to move a lot better in the last few days.”

The Pelicans are very well-balanced. They have perimeter players who can attack the rim. They have a quality stretch forward in Ryan Anderson. And then there is Anthony Davis, the No. 1 overall pick in 2012, who has made a big jump in production in his second season.

“He has really improved,” Wolves coach Rick Adelman said. “He can hurt you.”

With his quickness and huge wingspan, Davis – along with Anderson – gives the Pelicans the kind of long, lean basket-protecting frontcourt that has given the Wolves problems at times. The key? Get physical with Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic.

“We have to go after them there,” Adelman said. “I think you can score inside against them. Davis is a lot better off the ball, when he’s coming at you. So we have to do a good job moving him around. But they do present a problem there.”

That’s about it for now. I’ll get back to you after the game.

© 2014 Star Tribune