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76ers-Pelicans Game Preview/Thread: The More Things Change

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The Sixers attempt to keep the home magic going as the square off against the New Orleans Pelicans at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday night.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Before we preview the events of tonight, let’s first discuss the non-events of the past 30 hours, shall we?

While the Cleveland Cavaliers spent most of yesterday going full Extreme Home Makeover, the Philadelphia 76ers stood pat at the trade deadline. A rumored deal for Grizzlies swingman Tyreke Evans never came to fruition, but if the rumored asking price of Dario Saric was legit, the Sixers were right to pass on making a move.

More importantly, we learned today that there still is no timeline for Markelle Fultz’s (impending?) return. Other than noting that Fultz’s current range on his shot is “within the paint”, Bryan Colangelo offered no concrete answers on the status of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. We’ll discuss the situation more in the coming days and weeks, but we’re exactly two months to the day when the Sixers first said that the “scalpular imbalance” was resolved, and Fultz has yet to suit up for a game.

Now on to the matters of the day... when the Sixers and New Orleans faced off back in December, it was a defense-optional affair that ended in a 131-124 Pelicans’ victory thanks to 34 points from our former favorite son Jrue Holiday. With DeMarcus Cousins (Achilles) on the shelf for the rest of the season, tonight’s contest should be a much different affair, especially due to the recent arrival of Nikola Mirotic (who went off for 18 points and 12 rebounds in his New Orleans’ debut).

As of this writing, Joel Embiid is expected to play tonight - without him this season, the Sixers are 2-8.

Game Time: 7:00 pm EST

Where: Wells Fargo Center

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Listen: 97.5 The Fanatic

Follow along on Twitter: @Liberty_Ballers

Projected Starting Lineups:

Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons, J.J. Redick, Robert Covington, Dario Saric, Joel Embiid

New Orleans Pelicans: Rajon Rondo, Jrue Holiday, E’Twuan Moore, Nikola Mirotic, Anthony Davis