New Orleans Pelicans (0-2 SU, 1-1 ATS, 1-1 O/U) vs. Los Angeles Lakers (1-1 SU, 1-1 ATS, 1-1 O/U)
NBA: Sunday, October 22, 2017, Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, 9:30 pm ET
Line: New Orleans -3.5; Over/Under: 218.5
A pair of Western Conference teams who missed the postseason last year close out the first week of the NBA season in the City of Angels. The New Orleans Pelicans look for their first win of the year as they take on the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday night. New Orleans was dropped 128-120 at home by Golden State Friday night to remain winless. Los Angeles broke into the win column as they outgunned the Suns 132-130 on the road Friday. The Lakers have a 32-18 edge in the all-time regular season series between the teams though they split four meetings last season. Los Angeles won the last meeting, 108-96, here on April 11.
New Orleans Pelicans Seeking First Win
New Orleans had their chances on a good offensive night but their defense proved to be lackluster, leading to a loss to the defending champs. The Pelicans led by 13 after the opening quarter before things slipped away: their lead was trimmed to three by the half and they were outscored 37-26 in the third quarter. Attempts to rally were snuffed out and New Orleans went down in defeat. The Pelicans shot 45.9 percent from the floor and went 16 of 36 from three point range in the contest. Anthony Davis (17 rebounds, five assists) and DeMarcus Cousins (14 rebounds, five assists, four steals) each had 35 in the loss for New Orleans.
The Pelicans are 15th in the league in scoring offense with 105.5 points per game. The Pelicans are 4th in rebounding with 50.5 boards per game while ranking tied for 17th with 21.5 assists per contest. New Orleans is 22nd in scoring defense as they give up 115.5 points per contest. Anthony Davis is leading the Pelicans in scoring with 34.5 points to go with 17.5 rebounds per game. DeMarcus Cousins (31.5 points, 12 rebounds) playing alongside Davis is a nice 1-2 punch but the Pelicans need other guys to contribute. That means Jordan Crawford, Jrue Holiday, Ian Clark, Dante Cunningham, Tony Allen and E’Twaun Moore all have to step up and put the ball in the hole as Davis and Cousins can’t do it alone. New Orleans is tied for 22nd in field goal percentage shooting 42.4 percent from the floor. The Pelicans are tied for 9th with 11.5 made threes per game and stand 11th in the league by converting 37.7 percent from long range this season.
Los Angeles Lakers Look to Build off First Victory
Los Angeles rebounded from a tough showing against the crosstown Clippers by outgunning the Suns on the road. The Lakers led by four after one, trailed by three at the half and led by seven after three quarters before having to hang on for the win. Los Angeles shot the ball well, hitting 51.1 percent from the floor and drilling 12 of 26 three point attempts in the game. The Lakers overcame 19 turnovers and a 50-42 disadvantage on the glass in part due to Phoenix’s struggles at the charity stripe: the Suns were 26 of 38 at the line. Twelve misses are huge in a two point game. Lonzo Ball led the Lakers with 29 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in the win.
The Lakers are 9th in the league in scoring offense as they put up 112 points per game. Los Angeles is tied for 10th in rebounding with 47 per contest and tied for 17th in assists with 21.5 per game. The Lakers stand 26th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 119 points per night. Brook Lopez leads the team with 19.5 points plus 8.5 rebounds per contest. Brandon Ingram averages 18.5 points per game while Jordan Clarkson chips in 17.5 points a night. Lonzo Ball adds 16 points, 10 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game, Larry Nance Jr. averages 14 points plus nine boards while Kyle Kuzma is good for 11.5 points a contest. Julius Randle, Luol Deng, Corey Brewer and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope are going to be key for coach Luke Walton’s group. The Lakers are tied for 13th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 45.9 percent as a team. Los Angeles is tied for 22nd in the league with eight triples per game while standing tied for 9th in three point shooting at 38.1 percent from downtown.
- Pelicans are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400
- Pelicans are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a losing home record
- Lakers are 4-11 ATS in their last 15 vs. NBA Southwest
- Lakers are 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game
The Lakers looked good offensively Friday night but it’s important to note that came against a Phoenix team that lost by 48 to Portland Wednesday night. Los Angeles was fortunate to escape with a two point victory. New Orleans has yet to win this season but facing the Grizzlies and Warriors is a lot tougher than facing the Lakers. Davis and Cousins are a force to be reckoned with and Los Angeles doesn’t have one, much less two, big men that can shut them down. That duo has a big night as the Pelicans celebrate their first win of the year.
Pick: New Orleans Pelicans -3.5
It’s only a couple games into the season but we’ve seen rare feats for players on both sides that have been only previously accomplished by Hall of Famers. Davis is the second player in NBA history to score 30 points and collect 15 rebounds in both of their team’s first two games of the season in consecutive years: Wilt Chamberlain is the other. On the flip side, Ball is just the second player in league history to go for at least 25 points, 10 boards and five assists in his first career road game, joining Oscar Robertson. That’s some lofty territory on both sides of the equation.
The over is 4-1 in the Pelicans’ last 5 games playing on 1 day of rest. The Lakers have seen the over go 17-7-1 in their last 25 games against the Southwest Division. Both teams have shown an inability to slow the opposition. We saw what that meant Friday night as both teams both scored and allowed at least 120 points. The end result was different with the Pelicans losing and the Lakers winning but the lack of defense was glaringly obvious. This one is poised to go over the total.