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New Orleans Pelicans Preview
Brandon Ingram exploded for 49 points and led the Pelicans to a win over the Utah Jazz in the team’s previous meeting. That was before rookie Zion Williamson hit full stride and started a sprint of a Rookie of the Year campaign.
Williamson, who briefly left the NBA’s campus at Walt Disney World Resort to tend to a family matter, is expected in the lineup Thursday. The Pelicans, 28-36 overall, don’t have room to lose any games during this playoff seeding portion of the schedule.
They’re chasing the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference, which could potentially set up a Williamson-LeBron James first-round matchup.
Utah Jazz Preview
Rudy Gobert understands why he received the attention, but he’s feeling fortunate the NBA headlines are about to shift focus from his misfortune in March. Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus on March 11, when the NBA immediately paused the season
Now more than four months later, the league is stationed near Orlando as the Jazz, refreshed from the hiatus, also take on a new look. Second-leading scorer Bojan Bogdanovic is out for the season. He averaged 20.2 points per game but required wrist surgery in May. The Jazz won the first two meetings this season between these teams.