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Pistons vs Pelicans preview: Boogie out, but Brow still a handful

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The DeMarcus Cousins-less Pelicans host the Detroit Pistons.

NBA: Detroit Pistons at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

In a vacuum, I am certainly looking forward to seeing the new look Pelicans with DeMarcus Cousins. However:

Cousins and Steven Adams received double techs for the above altercation. For Boogie, it was his 18th (!) of the year, which means an automatic suspension. Thanks to the scheduling Gods, that suspension is against Detroit.

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Game Vitals

When: Wednesday, March 1 at 8 p.m. EST

Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA

Watch: Fox Sports Detroit

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Analysis

Detroit won the earlier meeting between these two teams 118-98 behind Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s 38 points. The question of containing the Jrue Holiday-Anthony Davis PNR still applies.

With DMC out and Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield and Langston Galloway traded to Sacramento, the Pelicans’ depth is pretty depleted.

It’s my understanding Pelicans’ coach Alvin Gentry held an open tryout for backcourt help:

Easy work for the Pistons, right? Detroit’s earlier losses to Brooklyn, Phoenix, Orlando and Philadelphia suggest otherwise - not to mention that the Pelicans, even without Boogie, are better than all of those teams.

The team with the best player on the court always has a chance, and in Anthony Davis, the Pelicans check that box.

The below clip is simply not fair:

What just happened? Any worded explanation wouldn’t do it justice.

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In the three games Cousins has played in a Pelicans’ uniform, the forgotten player has been Jrue Holiday. Shooting 11/38 during that three-game stretch, Holiday is playing out of whack as he gets comfortable with the new addition.

With the suspension, however, the Pelicans will need Holiday to get his groove back. In the early February game at the Palace, Jrue scored 22 while collecting 11 assists.

It’s a tough assignment for either Reggie Jackson, KCP or Ish Smith. Holiday is a lean 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds. He’s patient and strong, which is a scary combination.

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Projected Lineup

New Orleans

Jrue Holiday, Solomon Hill, Anthony Davis, Dante Cunningham, Hollis Thompson

Detroit

Reggie Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Andre Drummond, Jon Leuer, Marcus Morris

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Prediction

On paper, this is a win for Detroit. But...

It’s the second night of a back to back. The Pistons had to fly into New Orleans late last night/early this morning. And the Pistons are consistently inconsistent.

On the other hand, this is how Brow and Boogie spent their day yesterday.

Pistons 104, Pelicans 91