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Pelicans shootaround update presented by HUB International: Derrick Favors says he’ll return vs. 76ers

PHILADELPHIA – New Orleans starting center Derrick Favors had previously been listed as questionable to play in Friday’s interconference matchup at the Wells Fargo Center, but he told writer Andrew Lopez after shootaround that he will play against the 76ers. “I think it’s the right time to come back,” Favors told Lopez. “Mentally, I feel like I’m in a good enough space to get back.”

New Orleans (6-19) has missed the impact Favors can make in the paint at both ends of the floor, but particularly defensively, where the Pelicans have struggled all season. Favors has only played in nine total games in 2019-20, with New Orleans winning two of the last three full games he appeared, featuring wins over the Clippers and Charlotte. In arguably the Pelicans’ best victory of ’19-20, Favors delivered 20 points and 20 rebounds against LA.

Other notes from shootaround:

After playing the last two seasons for Philadelphia, JJ Redick meets his former team for the first time Friday, after signing with New Orleans in free agency. Like the current Pelicans, the 76ers struggled initially when Redick debuted with them, with just a 15-19 record in late December in ’17, but ended up getting hot in the second half of that season.

“We built good habits throughout the season,” Redick remembered. “Specifically, we made a big leap defensively and finished third or fourth in the league, depending on which metric you look at, (after) we started below average.” …

Asked for his perspective on returning to the City of Brotherly Love as an opponent, Redick said he was looking forward to the game.

“I’m excited to play every night, but certainly when you play your former team, places you built memories and relationships, it means a little bit more,” Redick said. The shooting guard added that he has watched the 76ers play five or six times this season – including Thursday’s road win at Boston – and that, “It’s weird to say this, but I’m enjoying their success. I will always pull for any Brett Brown-coached team, and obviously loved Ben (Simmons), Joel (Embiid), Tobias (Harris) and all those other guys I played with over the last two years.” …

Asked whether Brandon Ingram often goes to the 35-year-old Redick for shooting advice, a grinning Redick responded, “No, he works with Fred (Vinson), our shooting coach. I haven’t transitioned to that shooting coach role yet. Not yet.”