Orange and Blue Preview: Knicks at Pelicans (4/14/21)

RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson, NY Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
RJ Barrett, Zion Williamson, NY Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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Obi Toppin, Knicks. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports /

Knicks vs. Pelicans Preview

Hello, strangers and friends! Or, as they would say in The Big Easy, awrite! Where y’at?!

This is Orange and Blue Preview number 2. The matchup we’ve got cooking in the gumbo pot today is the New York Knicks (28-27) visiting the New Orleans Pelicans (25-29).

New York capped off their latest win two nights ago against the Lakers and are on a 3-game winning streak. New Orleans has also won their last three games and is 6-4 in their last 10.

There are actually quite a few interesting threads to pull on for this upcoming game. Let’s rattle those off real quick, shall we?

This is the first of two meetings between these teams this season. The Pelicans will be at The Garden on April 18th.

The Knicks haven’t seen much of The Pelicans

Due to the abrupt delay of the NBA’s 2019-2020 season, these two teams only faced off once last year. The Knicks were defeated by the Pelicans on January 10, 2020 by a score of 123-111. The Knicks leading scorer that night? Taj Gibson, who finished a perfect 8-8 to the Mardi Gras tune of 19 points along with 8 rebounds.

Thankfully, this time around New York will have healthy Julius Randle and a much improved RJ Barrett to avoid any more failed Taj Gibson heroics.

But unfortunately, the Pelicans will also have reinforcements in the form of Zion Williamson, the former 2020 number one overall pick who made his first all-star game this season. This will be the first time he faces off against the Knicks in a non-summer league contest. Williamson is of course Barrett’s former Duke teammate.

Brandon Ingram, the other New Orleans all-star New York will look to contain, is also from Duke. Fun fact: The Knicks and Pelicans have a combined 11 “Blue Blood” players, with former Duke, Kentucky, and UNC attendees rostered.

New Orleans also has Aquaman, so New York will certainly have their hands full tonight.

Want some more “player-talk,” then follow me to the “matchups to watch” slide…