The New Orleans Pelicans aim for their best start in years when they welcome the Atlanta Hawks at home. Can they maintain their solid start?
Catch the game tomorrow at 7:00 AM, Manila time.
HOME: New Orleans Pelicans (4-1, 2-1 HOME)
Projected starting five:
- CJ McCollum
- Jordan Hawkins / Brandon Ingram (day-to-day)
- Herb Jones
- Zion Williamson
- Jonas Valanciunas
The Pelicans are on the heels of a offensively sound game, albeit against the lowly Detroit Pistons – although they were without Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, so perhaps it just evens it out. Nevertheless, They lit up the scoreboard and won, 125-116, with CJ McCollum, Jonas Valanciunas, Herb Jones, and journeyman Matt Ryan combining for 97 of those.
Williamson is expected to return as his absence was only for rest. He’s averaging 21.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.0 assists on 50.7% shooting this season, and will be in an interesting matchup opposite the Hawks frontcourt. McCollum, meanwhile, the team’s top scorer so far, is at 23.4 PPG through five games. He should be able to do nice too.
It is unclear if Ingram (knee) will be finally available, but he’ll be huge for sure as he has put up 22.5 PPG in two appearances. If he’s unable to go, Valanciunas, Jones, Ryan, and rookie Jordan Hawkins could have a ton of opportunities.
The Pels are scoring 108.8 PPG but only have a +0.2 net rating.
AWAY: Atlanta Hawks (3-2, 1-1 AWAY)
Projected starting five:
- Trae Young
- Dejounte Murray
- Saddiq Bey
- DeAndre Hunter
- Clint Capela
The Hawks have put together a three-game winning streak after opening the season with back-to-back defeats. The last victory also saw them drop 130 points, their highest on the season so far.
Backcourt mates Trae Young (21.6 PPG) and Dejounte Murray (21.8 PPG) are mirroring each other in scoring, with the former being the lead facilitator and the latter providing his classic pesky defense. Young, however, has to be more efficient as he is shooting a putrid 32.6% from the floor. DeAndre Hunter is right behind the two, with 18.0 points, 1.4 steals, and 2.2 threes per contest.
Third-year forward Jalen Johnson will be someone to watch out for as he is on the verge of finally breaking out. He has 13.2 points, 7.8 boards, and 1.2 steals per game, all career-bests.
Atlanta is averaging 122.8 PPG on the season with a +5.4 net rating.
Handicap: The Pelicans (-3.5) win and cover the spread.
Over/Under: The total goes over 231.5.