Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#559 New Orleans Pelicans 226.5 vs.
#560 Detroit Pistons -3.5
Monday, January 13, 2020 at 7:05pm EST
Little Caesars Arena, Detroit
Written by Chris Kubala

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#559 New Orleans
#560 Detroit
14-26
14-26
17-20-3
14-24-2
22-18
23-16-1
113
108
117
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It’s an interconference matchup on the parquet floor in the Motor City between a pair of teams on the outside of their respective playoff pictures. The New Orleans Pelicans are on the road as they make the trip to face the Detroit Pistons Monday night. New Orleans was blown out 140-105 by Boston on the road Saturday night in their last game. Detroit was defeated 108-99 at home by Chicago in their last contest Saturday night. The Pelicans lead the all-time regular season series 22-16 but the Pistons took the last two meetings. That includes a 105-103 road win in the first matchup this season on December 9, 2019.

New Orleans Pelicans Look to Regroup

New Orleans had won two straight and three of four before getting absolutely walloped by Boston on the road Saturday night in the second game of a back to back set. The Pelicans entered Sunday in the basement of the Southwest Division, 13 games behind the Rockets. In the Western Conference playoff picture, the Pelicans are 14th, 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies for the final playoff spot. New Orleans was out of the game with Boston in a hurry Saturday night as a 15-0 Celtics run left them down 35-18 in the opening quarter. The Pelicans never cut the deficit under double digits after that. New Orleans shot 40 percent from the field, including 14 of 45 from three-point range, and allowed Boston to shoot 55 percent in the game. Playing without Derrick Favors, JJ Redick and Jrue Holiday, it was Frank Jackson leading the Pelicans with 22 off the bench in the loss.

The Pelicans are 10th in the league in scoring offense as they average 113.1 points per game on the season. New Orleans is 16th in rebounding by collecting 45.5 boards a night while the team ranks 9th in assists by dishing out 25.4 dimes a night. The Pelicans are 28th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 117.1 points per game so far this year. Brandon Ingram leads the team in scoring with 25.1 points per game along with 6.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists this season. Josh Hart contributes 10.8 points plus 5.9 boards a night while Lonzo Ball (12.1 points, 5.8 assists), Jrue Holiday (19.6 points, 6.5 assists), Jahlil Okafor (7.8 points), JJ Redick (15.8 points), E’Twaun Moore and Derrick Favors (8.7 points, 10 rebounds) are key rotation pieces. Zion Williamson remains out as he recovers from knee surgery: he is doing some on-court work. New Orleans is 20th in field goal percentage by shooting 45 percent from the field as a team this season. The Pelicans are third in the league in threes per game as they knock down 14.3 triples per contest and stand 7th in three-point shooting by hitting 36.7 percent from beyond the arc. Reddick (hamstring), Holiday (elbow) and Favors (hamstring) all were out Saturday and are likely questionable at best here.

Detroit Pistons Trying to Survive With Missing Pieces

Detroit lost their second straight and third in the last four games as they were beaten by Chicago at home. With that loss, the Pistons were swept in the season series by the Bulls. The Pistons entered Sunday tied for third in the Central Division standings, 20.5 games behind the Bucks. In the Eastern Conference playoff picture, the Pistons are tied for 10th, 4.5 games behind the Nets for the final playoff spot. Detroit trailed by 15 after one quarter, by 12 at the half and by 10 after three quarters. The Pistons charged back within two at 89-87 but couldn’t mount another charge after giving up an 11-3 run to trail 100-90 with 2:51 to play. Detroit shot 46.2 percent from the field, including nine of 28 from three-point range, and turned the ball over 19 times. Derrick Rose led the Pistons with 20 points in the loss while Andre Drummond was ejected after throwing the ball at Chicago center Daniel Gafford. He finished with nine points and a season-low four rebounds.

The Pistons enter this contest 22nd in the league in scoring offense with 108.2 points per game on the season. Detroit stands 30th in rebounding with 42.4 boards per contest and 14th with 24.3 assists per game. The Pistons are in the middle of the pack in scoring defense, ranking 17th by allowing 111.1 points per game. Andre Drummond is second on the team with 17.6 points, 15.9 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 1.8 blocks per game. Derrick Rose contributes a team-high 17.8 points plus 5.8 assists a night while Luke Kennard chips in 15.8 points per game. Blake Griffin has averaged 15.5 points plus 4.7 boards a contest since returning to the lineup. Markieff Morris adds 10.6 points plus 3.9 rebounds a night while Langston Galloway has chipped in 10.5 points a night. Detroit is 10th in the league in field goal percentage as they hit 46.4 percent from the floor as a team on the year. The Pistons are tied for 16th in threes made per game with 11.8 per contest and stand fourth in three-point shooting as they connect on 37.1 percent of their shooting from beyond the arc. Reggie Jackson has been out with a back injury: it was diagnosed as a stress reaction on November 2 and he remains out with no clear timetable for return at this point. Griffin underwent knee surgery January 7 and is out indefinitely. Kennard is also out without a timetable with a knee injury.

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The Pistons are dealing with a slew of injuries that are impacting their rotation. Being minus Jackson, Griffin and Kennard puts a lot of pressure on lesser-proven and inexperienced guys to try and step up to contribute. New Orleans has struggled to stop opposing teams on the defensive end of the floor and they have their own injury issues right now. With that said, the Pelicans have had some success putting points on the board even minus key pieces of their rotation. With Detroit floundering at this point in time, you can’t have much faith in them at this stage. Look for the Pelicans to earn the victory on the road here behind their young guys.

Prediction: New Orleans Pelicans

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New Orleans tends to get in track meets when they're on the floor. The Pelicans are playing terrific offensively but they have been miserable on the defensive end of the floor. Detroit is 27th in field goal percentage defense (47.6 percent) and 28th in three-point field goal percentage defense (37.3 percent) this season. That doesn't bode well against a Pelicans team that can shoot the lights out if given half a chance. New Orleans is 23rd in field goal percentage defense (46.9 percent) and 25th in three-point field goal percentage defense (36.9 percent) this season. That means the Pistons have a decent shot at exposing the Pelicans defensively. This one ends up over the total.

Prediction: Over

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New Orleans is 10th in the league in first half scoring offense as they average 56 points per game on the year. The Pelicans are 25th in the league in first half scoring differential with a -4.2 point per game margin this year. Detroit is 11th in the league in first half scoring offense with 55.9 points per game on the year. The Pistons are 21st in the league in first half scoring differential with a -1.1 ppg margin in the opening half of games. Detroit would have the edge if they were healthy but with so many missing pieces, the Pelicans get a slight nod here.

Prediction: New Orleans Pelicans

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Stopping the opposition has been a problem for both teams in the first half of games this season. New Orleans is a dismal 29th in that category as they allow 60.3 points per game in the first half this season. That puts the average first half total for the Pelicans at 116.3 points per game. Detroit is 23rd in first half scoring differential as they allow 57 points a night. That sets their typical first half total at 112.9 points per game on the season. Look for this one to go over the mark as neither side comes up with much in the way of stops.

Prediction: Over
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Written By Chris Kubala

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. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.