New Orleans Pelicans vs. Miami Heat - 10/4/14 NBA Preseason Pick, Odds, Prediction
Miami Heat (0-0) vs. New Orleans Pelicans (0-0)
NBA Basketball: Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 7:30 pm (KFC Yum! Center)
The Line: See the Latest Odds
The first preseason game of the 2014 NBA season will take place between the New Orleans Pelicans and Miami Heat at the KFC Yum! Center.
The New Orleans Pelicans are looking to take another step in the right direction after showing promise last year with 34 victories. The Pelicans have a blossoming superstar in Anthony Davis, who really shined in the FIBA tournament and one of the more underrated shooting guards in the league in Tyreke Evans. With Austin Rivers entering another year and a healthy Jrue Holiday, the Pelicans are a team that’s flying under the radar and can make some serious noise if everything goes right this season. With the combination of Davis and Omer Asik, the Pelicans and sure to give the Heat all they can handle at both ends of the floor due to Miami’s lack of size. With this game being played in Louisville, there should be a ton of support for former Cardinals player Russ Smith, who is one of many New Orleans players fighting for playing time.
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This will be our first look at the Miami Heat without LeBron James. For this game, the Heat are also expected to be without Chris Andersen, Josh McRoberts and Justin Hamilton, making Miami’s roster even smaller than it usually is. Luol Deng will play his first game as a Miami Heat player, and Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade will have a chance to showcase their skills as the top two players on the team. However, you can bet that Bosh and Wade won’t see many minutes in this game. For the Heat, this game is all about seeing who can step up and help the veterans of this team, whether it’s James Ennis, Shannon Brown, Shabazz Napier or a new and improved Danny Granger. The Heat need to develop depth across the board if they’re going to seriously compete in the East.
The Heat are resting some of their bigger guys, which makes the roster extremely small against a fairly big New Orleans squad. The Pelicans have the younger and more atheltic team, and they're also the team with more to prove here. Preseason hoops is really a coin flip, but the matchup has to be in the Pelicans favor, especially with Wade and Bosh likely not playing much.