After blowing a 23-point lead to the New Orleans Pelicans recently, the LA Lakers now have a chance to get their revenge at home. They may also have extra firepower this time around, with it looking like LeBron James and Anthony Davis are coming back.
Catch this game live on April 2, at 10:30 AM, Manila time.
Away: New Orleans Pelicans (33-43, 15-22 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: CJ McCollum
- SG: Herbert Jones
- SF: Brandon Ingram
- PF: Jaxson Hayes
- C: Jonas Valanciunas
The Pelicans are working their hardest to stay in the play-ins, and after a recent four-game losing streak have responded by going 6-3 to push themselves to the ninth seed. One of those victories was against the Lakers, which gave them a crucial season series tiebreaker. They’ve been revitalized by the CJ McCollum trade, and he averaged 24.8 points in March.
Brandon Ingram has played well since his return, averaging 29.0 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.4 assists in five appearances last month, while Jonas Valanciunas has been consistent with 18.5 points and 11.7 rebounds per game in March.
A day ago, that trio looked like it would be trouble for the Lakers. But they may now be facing a stronger squad, as it’s been rumored that both LeBron James and Anthony Davis will make their returns. If those two guys are on the floor, it’s going to be come a different ballgame. Still, the Pelicans don’t want to give up any room in what is still a very tight race for the last two play-in spots. Expect them to battle the Lakers hard.
The Pelicans are 9-4-1 ATS as the road underdog this year. They’re a league-worst 13-24-0 on the over/under as the away team.
Home: LA Lakers (31-45, 20-18 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Russell Westbrook
- SG: Malik Monk / Austin Reaves
- SF: LeBron James
- PF: Stanley Johnson
- C: Anthony Davis
The Lakers got a big boost with the news that both LeBron James and Anthony Davis could be making their comebacks in a crucial game. The Lakers are listed as slight favorite for the game, but it’s really going to come down to how well James and Davis play. One’s coming back from a long layoff and the other from a gnarly ankle sprain, so it’s hard to predict.
Malik Monk’s been playing great for the Lakers, being a consistent scoring threat. He’s averaging 13.4 point on the season and they’ll need him to have a good performance in this crucial game against the Pelicans. Russell Westbrook had a pretty solid game against the Jazz, finishing with 24 points, six rebounds and seven assists while shooting 9 of 18, so the Lakers will be hoping to get something similar out of him with their two other stars back in the rotation.
One determining factor could be fatigue, though, as the Lakers will be on their second game of a back-to-back.
The Lakers are are 11-17-0 ATS as home favorites this year and are 21-17 against the over-under.
Spread: The Lakers just haven’t shown a lot lately, and even with AD back, I’m still thinking they fail to cover the -1.5.
Over/Under: I like the under 234 for this game.