Pelicans ready to begin practice in Orlando

Pelicans ready to begin practice in Orlando
New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday celebrates a 3-point basket late in the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. The Pelicans won 124-117. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Now that the Pelicans are in Orlando, the real grind begins. That grind won’t be just physically at practice, but also mentally as the clock’s already started on time away from home and family.

“What we’re asking our players to do is please don’t participate in this unless you can do it mind, body and spirit with every fiber of who you are,” says executive vice president David Griffin. “Once we get there, this isn’t something that’s going to be designed for the weak.”

That stern mindset stems from the simple fact that the Pelicans won't have time to ease into their schedule when games start in a few weeks against the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers.

“Unfortunately for us, our first two games are our hardest opponents in terms of winning percentage against,” says Griffin. “I would argue that because of the quarantine and because of everybody else facing the same challenges, results are going to be more random than they would otherwise. I think it’s going to be, sort of, you’re going to be at the mercy of when you meet your good opponents. So the fact that our first two opponents are very, very difficult games and we’re three and a half (games) out with eight to go instead of three and a half out with 18 to go, we’ve got to hit the ground running.”

Fortunately, running is what this team and their high pace of play does best.

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