“I bet Eric Gordon is a jerk.” Pacers vs Pelicans preview.

Jrue Holiday (right): “Yeah, we do look pretty stupid.”

By Jon R. LaFollette (@JonFilet) and David Searle (@DaveSearle)

Jon: The Pelicans? It’s too soon for this game. I was hoping the NBA scheduling gods would have delayed it so I could cook up a few worthy Pelicans puns – as if the previous eight months wasn’t enough time.

While many snicker at the new moniker, I thoroughly embrace it. I’m tired of the cliche bird names: Hawks, Eagles, Falcons, Cardinals. How rote! How toothless! Give me something intriguing. Give me something outside the box. Give me something that can eat a pigeon whole!

Behold:

Or this one:

Not enough you say?

Behold the Anthony Davis unibrow-Pelican memes.

Even Ryan Anderson gets in on the action! I’m thrilled for what this means for his career.

There. I’ve covered the obligatory name change and facial hair references. Your turn. Don’t worry. I left plenty of material for you. You can tackle the Tyreke Evans signing, Eric Gordon’s awful contract, trading away two first round picks for a non-elite point guard and the fact the team’s best name currently resides in Utah.

Aaaaaand GO!

Dave: When you are spending $35.6 million combined this year on three guys in your backcourt (Evans, Gordon, and Holiday), you want to see headlines like “Pelicans All In For Title”, or “Pelicans Gunning For Home Court Advantage”. Instead, NOLA.com went with “New Orleans Pelicans hoping to start season off with wins.” Anytime you have a group of guys who might have a chance to potentially win a few games (fingers crossed), you have break the bank to lock them up right?

Eric Gordon is unhappy in New Orleans. How much of a buzzkill do you have to be to be miserable in NEW ORLEANS. Have you ever been there? If I had a friend that was really depressed and I could take him anywhere to cheer him up, we would head to NOLA. It is a city synonymous with partying, music, and amazing food. It is a gorgeous city with a million things happening 24/7. I bet Eric Gordon is a jerk.

Am I insane, or is Jeff Withey going to be a solid NBA center?

Jon: Hey now. Go easy on the headline. It’s all about baby steps with this team. $35.6 million baby steps.

Seriously, this roster makes no sense to me. If you’re going to go all in for a meaningless playoff spot, why not spend cash on big men? Why not trade Ryan Anderson for Omer Asik? Why not find another defensive stopper to pair with Davis and start a Block Party hashtag?

Imaginary tweet:

“ZOMG! THE PELICANS ARE CRUSHING THE KINGS RIGHT NOW! DAVIS AND ASIK WITH 17 BLOCKS COMBINED! #BlockParty #LeaguePassAlert.”

Please don’t judge me if I went over 140 characters.

As for Gordon and his moodiness, I agree its completely stupefying. He’s getting paid the same amount as Roy Hibbert, only he misses a ton of games because he has the durability of a pinata. So why not laze about in one of America’s greatest cities? Remember last year when he wanted to sign with Phoenix and play with Michael Beasley? MICHAEL BEASLEY!? Not only is Eric Gordon a jerk, I bet he’s not very intelligent either. I assume he smokes his weight in weed on a daily basis.

When it comes to Jeff Withey, I won’t categorize you as insane on a technicality – “solid” being a relative term. Since I don’t follow college sports (a protest until the players are payed REAL money above a REAL table) I looked up a few highlight videos.

Here is one.

My very basic judgement: Nothing spectacular, but potential to indeed be “solid.” It’s easy to stuff the box score with dunks and blocks when you’re 7-foot and tower over everyone else in the Big 12. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I’m also willing to say he’s already better than Miles Plumlee will ever be. Then again, it could be the Skrillex soundtrack swaying my thoughts.

Here is where I see a real advantage for the Pelicans – they’re rested. This game is their home opener while the Pacers are on the tail end of a back to back. Maybe NOLA comes out energized (except for Eric Gordon) and ready to play and the Pacers are a tad woozy from a late night on Bourbon Street. I know it’s only the second game of the season, but is it too early to call this a trap game?

Dave: Trap game, hmmm…

I would have said no yesterday afternoon, but maybe not after last night. The Pacers – after a blistering 12-0 start where they looked unbeatable – relaxed a bit. Lobs into the post were mistimed, rotations a hair late. The signs of a team letting the foot off the gas. I certainly don’t want to see any inbound passes being picked off for an easy two after the All-Star break.

However, Frank Vogel is screaming that fact into the Pacer’s ears at this very moment. It will be interesting to see if the Pacers bring it for 48 minutes tonight.

Story time! Let me tell you about the time I saw a game at New Orleans arena. I was on vacation in NOLA and secured free tickets to a then-Hornets clash with the Spurs. David West and Chris Paul were still on the team.

The guy next to me stuck up a conversation. Nice guy. We chatted about the NBA, sports in general, and the city of New Orleans. At some point in the second half, his half-drunk friend leans over and says “Do you know who this is? Do you know who you are sitting next to?” I didn’t. Turns out it was former PGA golfer Kelly Gibson!

Yeah, I didn’t know who he was either. His proudest accomplishment was playing the final round with Tiger Woods in Tiger’s first PGA Tour victory. More importantly, he (like former Pacer Jonathan Bender) was a crucial financial backer of rebuilding efforts after Katrina. Really nice guy.  Click here to check out his charity. 

Anyway, just wanted to share that with the group.

Jon: I was gonna respond with a sarcastic “Cool story, bro.” But then you name dropped Jonathan Bender, Katrina and a charity. So, in order to not look like a total dick, I’ll simply say, cool!

Here’s my New Orleans story.

I hate Drew Brees.

But it’s hard. SO HARD to hate the Pelicans. That name is just too cool. Here’s another Pelican highlight just for kicks. This one comes from the Land Down Under. Watch it while you mull over a bold prediction for the game.

I’ll even throw in a Jonathan Bender highlight reel, too.

Dave: Bold prediction? How about George Hill scoring 20 points with six assists tonight. He looked awesome running the pick ‘n roll on opening night, but missed some easy shots. Those will go in against the Pellies. His teammates are giving him shit right now for his bad overall performance against the Magic. Paul George made him sit in the front row of the team plane, and David West gave him an atomic wedgie. George Hill will make sure his plane ride back to Indy is much more comfortable.

Jon:  For whatever reason, Paul and Roy like playing against New Orleans.

February 21, 2012: The Big Dawg goes for 30 and 13 in a Mardi Gras game at Bankers Life.

November 21, 2012: PG breaks Reggie’s franchise record for most 3-point baskets in a game, going 9-of-13 from long and posting 37 points. Not to be outdone, Roy posts his first triple-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 blocks.

Both of those games went to overtime by the way. Strange. Dominating performances from key players but still had to force extra time to win.

I think both players previously mentioned will continue their strong efforts from the Magic game and unleash on the young Pellies.

Trivia time!

What is the proper name for a baby Pelican?

Answer?

A hen. Here is what they look like.

Oddly cute, completely horrifying.

Anyway, here’s hoping the blue and gold make the entire New Orleans roster look like a bunch of hens. Now there’s some REAL trash talk.

Prediction: Pacers 96, Pelicans 88.

Bonus trivia question!

Who is the coolest pelican of all time?

Nigel from Finding Nemo. Not only could he talk, but the dude knew dental terminology.

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