When and where: January 18, 2020, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA, 3:30 PM ET
The New Orleans Pelicans hope to pull off a monumental upset on Saturday when taking on the visiting Los Angeles Clippers. Since dropping an ugly blowout loss to the Boston Celtics, the Pelicans have bounced back with consecutive overtime wins over the Detroit Pistons and Utah Jazz. Meanwhile, the Clippers barely broke a sweat when rolling over the Orlando Magic and Cleveland Cavaliers. The series is tied 1-1 in the head-to-head meetings between the two teams this season.
The Claw snatches the Magic out of OrlandoKawhi Leonard is the best basketball player on the planet. That’s the sort of comment that’ll elicit some eye rolls from the individuals still not ready for LeBron James to step down from his throne. But Leonard, a defending champion, is on a tear right now. He has scored 30-plus points in his previous four outings, including a 32-point performance against the same Magic team that eked out a win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
The struggling Pelicans could be next on the list when they host the Clippers on Saturday. Opposing teams are averaging a ridiculous 127.3 points against the Pelicans in their last three outings. Even with George sidelined with a hamstring injury, the Clippers are still the fifth-ranked offense in the league averaging 115.8 points per game this season. Leonard, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell alone are enough for any team to have to deal with on the floor.
The Clippers will enter the game with a defense allowing a 43.7 field goal shooting percentage. They’ll be tough to crack with the Pelicans’ injury-riddled roster. Most of the players that can help them will be watching from the sidelines.
Can the Pelicans turn it around?Brandon Ingram dropped a career-high 49 points on Thursday night to end the Jazz’s 10-game win streak. It was the kind of monstrous offensive performance that turned the heads of skeptics. Perhaps there really is life left in these Pelicans. Imagine how good they’ll be if Zion Williamson sticks to his tentatively scheduled return date of January 22.
The best could be yet to come for the young Pelicans.
They’ll look to pull off another upset in Saturday’s meeting with the Clippers. New Orleans will come into the game with the seventh-ranked scoring offense in the league. They have remained a threat to opposing teams despite having guys constantly in and out of the lineup.
Jahlil Okafor and Jrue Holiday have both been listed as out for the game, while veteran guard JJ Redick is questionable to play.
The Pelicans will have their hands full with a Clippers defense that ranks fifth in the league in offensive efficiency. A big scoring performance will mean the difference between winning and losing for Ingram and company. New Orleans lacks the defensive ability to shut down a team with as many scoring options as the Clippers.
The supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Clippers are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games playing on 1 days’ rest.
- Clippers are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road games.
- Clippers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games as a road favorite.