New Orleans Pelicans vs. Denver Nuggets Preview
While the New Orleans Pelicans fanbase can’t be exactly pleased with the state of their team in the wake of Anthony Davis’ request to be traded, they got a nice consolation prize last night in the form of a surprise win with several players, including Davis, sidelined. It won’t be easy to do that on a back-to-back as they face off against the Denver Nuggets.
New Orleans is currently 12th in the West with a 23-28 record. They are 4-6 in their last 10 games. Denver is 7-3 in their last 10 games and they have won their last three straight. On the season, they are 34-15 and just a game and a half away from the first place Golden State Warriors.
The Nuggets and Pelicans last met on November 17 with the Pelicans winning 125-115. They were led by Davis’ 40 points and eight assists. Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 25 points and eight assists.
Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing the sequel of the Davis-Jokic matchup, but Jahlil Okafor will do his best to provide a challenge to the Nuggets center.
Time: 8:00pm ET
Arena: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
Channel: ALT, FSNO
New Orleans Pelicans Starting Lineup
Last night, the Pelicans rallied and upset the fifth-place Houston Rockets. Considering this was without Anthony Davis, Julius Randle, Nikola Mirotic, Elfrid Payton and E’Twaun Moore, a win seemed highly improbable.
Jahlil Okafor continues to play exceptionally well in Davis’ absence. He led the Pelicans with 27 points and 12 rebounds, taking advantage of a short Rockets frontline that is without center Clint Capela. Jrue Holiday also had 19 points, eight assists, and six rebounds.
Considering the Pelicans would be playing tonight and that they received offensive help from several players, only Holiday, Okafor and Darius Miller played significant minutes.
Of the several other players that contributed were Ian Clark, with 15 points, Tim Frazier, who had 10 points and 10 assists and Frank Jackson, who finished with 10 points and seven rebounds. They’ll need that help again tonight as they take on another top Western Confernce team.
Denver Nuggets Starting Lineup
On Monday night, the Denver Nuggets had to come back from 25-points down to get past the 20-31 Memphis Grizzlies in a 95-92 win.
The Nuggets relied heavily on Nikola Jocic as they scored 35 points and limited Memphis to 15 in the final stanza to secure the win. Jokic finished with 24 points and five rebounds.
With Jamal Murray out, Gary Harris and Will Barton started in the backcourt and combined for 31 points.
The Nuggets were fortunate that Malik Beasley chipped in 18 points off the bench, especially considering starters Paul Millsap and Torrey Craig combined for just nine points. Beasley has seen a major jump in his third year, going from averaging 3.2 points per game last season to 10.5 this season. Beasley has averaged 17 points per game in the Nuggets’ three-game winning streak, and his ability to create off the dribble drive or spot up from outside gives the Nuggets another weapon off the bench.
His emergence was a byproduct of all of the early injuries Denver has had early in the season, which forced several players into increased roles.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Denver Nuggets Betting Odds
On paper, this doesn’t seem like a close matchup, and the odds seem to agree with that sentiment. Denver is an eight-point favorite to extend their win streak on the road in the Crescent City tonight. The over/under is 227 points and Denver is -360 on the moneyline.
Against the spread, Denver is 26-13-10 and New Orleans is 24-15-12. The Nuggets are 12-11 on the road and 28-8 as the favorite. New Orleans is 15-8 at home and 7-17 as the underdog.
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