The New Orleans Pelicans beat the Detroit Pistons at home back in December to the tune of a 104-98 score. Lots have changed since, though. Will the Pellies double down on their mastery of Detroit? Or, will the Pistons level things between them and New Orleans with a win?
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Away: New Orleans Pelicans (25-17/8-12 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: CJ McCollum
- SG: Trey Murphy III
- SF: Dyson Daniels
- PF: Naji Marshall
- C: Jonas Valanciunas
Life without Zion Williamson is hard. And another game playing without him ended in a 125-114 Pelicans loss to the Boston Celtics on the road last Thursday. The Pelicans are now 1-3 straight-up in their last four games and just 2-5 SU in their last seven overall. However, even without Williamson, the Pelicans don’t seem to be having much trouble scoring. In fact, over their last three games, the Pelicans have mustered an average of 121.0 points on 50.7 FG%.
In the five games they’ve played since Zion’s started missing games due to a right hamstring strain, the Pelicans averaged 116.8 points – not much worse than their 117.4 per game season average. CJ McCollum has stepped up offensively to help cover the void temporarily left by Williamson, as he put up 32.0 points in his last four appearances. Naji Marshall, Jonas Valanciunas, Jose Alvarado, and Trey Murphy also played in all last five New Orleans games and averaged more than 10 points over that span. They can continue scoring well against Detroit’s defense which is among the worst in the league with 119.6 points allowed per game.
The Pelicans are 2-1 against the spread in their last three games versus Detroit.
Home: Detroit Pistons (12-33/6-14 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Killian Hayes
- SG: Jaden Ivey
- SF: Bojan Bogdanovic
- PF: Saddiq Bey
- C: Nerlens Noel
The Pistons stopped a three-game losing skid when they took care of business last Thursday in a 135-118 victory at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Detroit’s defense is still a mess, but if Saturday’s meeting with New Orleans is going to be a high-scoring affair, the Pistons have the firepower to keep up.
The Pistons have averaged 118.6 points in their last 10 games while shooting 49.2 FG%. Bojan Bogdanovic and Saddiq Bey could still be hot when they show up Saturday at home after scoring 27 and 31 points, respectively, in the win over the Timberwolves. Youngsters Jaden Ivey and Killian Hayes also smacked Minnesota with 18 points apiece. Detroit’s biggest problem is its leaky defense, but at least this time around, there’d be no Zion around to batter the Pistons, who forced the Timberwolves to commit 18 turnovers.
The Pistons are 2-1 against the spread in their last three games as the home team.
Spread: The Pelicans (-4.5) cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total (232.5) hits the Over.