The New Orleans Pelicans will seek a third win in a row when they host the new-look Denver Nuggets this Saturday. Who wins this interesting showdown?
Catch this game live on Saturday, March 27, at 8 AM, Manila time.
HOME TEAM: New Orleans Pelicans (19-24, 13-10 at home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Nickeil Alexander-Walker
- SG: Eric Bledsoe
- SF: Brandon Ingram
- PF: Zion Williamson
- C: Steven Adams
After beating the Nuggets on the road, 113-108, the Pelicans took advantage of the absences of Anthony Davis and LeBron James and smothered the Los Angeles Lakers in a 128-111 home win last Wednesday despite missing Lonzo Ball (hip flexor). Ball’s status is currently up in the air.
Brandon Ingram is piping hot right now, having scored 66 points in those two games, and the Pelicans will just have to keep feeding him the ball while he’s still feeling it. Ingram scored 30 points in the win over Denver, while Zion Williamson had 30.
The two combined for 20 of the Pelicans’ 30 free-throw attempts, and if the Nuggets won’t have Aaron Gordon this Saturday, Ingram, and Williamson could be up for another seemingly endless adventure at the charity stripe. New Orleans, which is 5-1 against the spread in its last six outings, is fourth in the NBA in drawing fouls and 10th in free-throw attempts per game.
ROAD TEAM: Denver Nuggets (26-18, 14-9 on the road)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Jamal Murray
- SF: Will Barton
- SF: Michael Porter Jr.
- PF: Paul Millsap
- C: Nikola Jokic
Denver’s outlook just got better after trading for Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon. His arrival in Mile High City gives the Nuggets a shot in the arm at the power forward slot, where they’ve not only gotten younger but more versatile as well.
Moreover, the Nuggets’ defense should be considerably better with Gordon in town. If Gordon suits up this Saturday against the Pelicans, the Nuggets will have a better defensive body to throw at Brandon Ingram and even at Zion Williamson, who torched them in the last meeting.
Nikola Jokic had 29 points and 10 rebounds in that game, while Jamal Murray scored 23. Denver, which is averaging 115.6 points per game — fourth-best in the NBA — is 5-1 against the spread in its last six contests after surrendering over 125 points in the prior game.
Even if Aaron Gordon plays, it’s possible that the Nuggets will not give him plenty of minutes while he still learns the team’s playbook. That’s good news for Ingram and Williamson, who should have their way against the likes of Michael Porter Jr. and Paul Millsap. Also worth noting here is the fact that the Pelicans are 7-2 ATS this season as home dogs. Take the Pelicans to cover as 2-point home underdogs.
The Pelicans are tops in the league in ORB% and fourth in DRB%, so the Nuggets can’t just easily dictate the pace like they usually do. Take the under 231.