#504 Brooklyn Netsvs.#503 New Orleans Pelicans
Written by Chris Kubala
New Orleans Pelicans (15-24 SU, 19-20 ATS, 18-21 O/U) vs. Brooklyn Nets (8-29 SU, 18-17-2 ATS, 20-16-1 O/U)
NBA: Thursday, January 12, 2017, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, 7:30 pm ET
Line: New Orleans -5; Over/Under: 216.5
It’s an inter-conference tilt in the Big Apple between a couple of teams looking to put together some wins. The New Orleans Pelicans continue their road swing through the east as they face the league’s worst team in the Brooklyn Nets Thursday night. New Orleans snapped a three game slide by beating the Knicks 110-96 on the road Monday night. Brooklyn lost its seventh straight as they were pounded 117-97 by the Hawks at home Tuesday. New Orleans has a narrow 16-14 edge in the all-time regular season series and has won the last five meetings. That includes a 106-87 triumph in the last matchup here on April 3, 2016.
New Orleans already dispatched the Knicks in the Big Apple so they’ll go for a sweep of the teams from the city here. The Pelicans led by nine at the half and blew the doors off by outscoring the Knicks 31-15 in the third quarter to take a 25 point edge. New York trimmed the deficit in the fourth but the damage was already done. The Pelicans shot 48.2 percent from the field and drained 12 of 27 three point attempts in the victory. Anthony Davis piled up 40 points, 18 rebounds and three blocks in 29 minutes of action. He became the first player to put up 40 points and 18 boards in less than 30 minutes during the shot clock era.
The Pelicans are 21st in the league in scoring offense with 102.4 points per game. The Pelicans are 10th in rebounding with 44.4 boards per game while ranking 10th with 22.9 assists per contest. New Orleans is 19th in scoring defense as they give up 105.4 points per contest. Anthony Davis is second in the league in scoring with 29.1 points to go with 12.2 rebounds, 1.38 steals and second with 2.51 blocks per game. The problem is that the support isn’t really there. E’Twaun Moore contributes with 9.8 points a night while Tim Frazier contributes 9.9 points plus 6.7 assists per contest. Rookie Buddy Hield (9.2 points), Terrence Jones (10.3 points, 5.6 boards), Langston Galloway, Dante Cunningham, Solomon Hill and Alexis Ajinca have to contribute when they are on the floor. Jrue Holiday (14.3 points, 7.1 assists) has helped New Orleans on offense but relegated Hield to more of an afterthought in the rotation. New Orleans is tied for 24th in field goal percentage shooting 43.8 percent from the floor. The Pelicans are 17th with 9.2 made threes per game and stand 18th in the league by converting 35.3 percent from long range this season.
Brooklyn lost their seventh straight and their 24th in their last 28 games as they were no match for the Hawks. This one was over by the half as the Nets trailed by 18 after being outscored 26-14 in the second quarter. Brooklyn was held to 40.2 percent shooting from the floor and 10 of 29 from three point range in the contest. The Nets committed 17 turnovers in the contest and it was only as close as 20 points thanks to the Hawks missing 16 of 38 free throw attempts. Brook Lopez had 20 points in a losing cause to lead the Nets in the game.
The Nets are 16th in the league in scoring offense with 105.1 points per game. Brooklyn is tied for 12th in the league on the glass by collecting 44.3 rebounds per game. The Nets are 24th in the league in assists with 20.9 dimes per contest. Brooklyn is last in the league in scoring defense as they allow 114.1 points a game. Brook Lopez is good for a team leading 20.1 points a night while Sean Kilpatrick chips in 14.8 points per game from the backcourt. Bojan Bogdanovic kicks in 14.1 points plus 3.3 boards per game while Jeremy Lin averages 13.9 points and 5.8 assists per contest. Lin is out again after suffering his second hamstring injury of the season. Joe Harris (8.5 points), Trevor Booker (10 points, nine rebounds), Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Luis Scola and Justin Hamilton are key pieces in the rotation as well. Rookie Isaiah Whitehead has gotten a good chunk of minutes at point guard for Brooklyn. The Nets are 23rd in the league by shooting 44 percent from the floor. Brooklyn is 5th by sinking 11 triples per contest. The Nets are 26th in the league in three point shooting as they shoot 33.8 percent from long range.
The Pelicans are coming off an emphatic win by clubbing the Knicks and now get to face the league’s worst team. Brooklyn is a train wreck that one can’t stop looking at despite the gruesome carnage that comprises the team. The Nets might as well turn this one into a dumpster fire and start over because what they have isn’t working. Even playing at home isn’t enough to help them in this one. New Orleans gets the win and leaves town with back to back wins.
The concern about whether Davis is going to play in this one certainly clouds the way this one could go as far as the total. He suffered a bruised hip/hip pointer after being fouled hard by the Knicks’ Kyle O’Quinn that resulted in him slamming into a chair in the crowd. O’Quinn received a flagrant-2 foul on the play and was fined $25,000 by the league but the damage was done. The Nets do bring the league’s worst defense to the floor so that has to factor into the equation.
The Pelicans have gone under the total in each of their last four after an ATS win and in their last five after scoring at least 100 points. The under is 9-1 in New Orleans’ last 10 against the Eastern Conference and 9-1 in their last 10 against the Atlantic Division. The Nets have seen the under go 6-0-1 in their last seven on one day of rest, 4-1 in their last five on Thursday and 8-3-1 in their last 12 overall. Brooklyn’s defense struggles but they don’t score enough to push this one over the mark, especially if Davis misses the game or has his minutes curtailed.
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Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.