The New Orleans Pelicans host the shorthanded LA Lakers on Tuesday night in a nationally televised NBA game. It is a pity that we can’t see the Lakers’ two best players, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but that’s the way things are right now. Frank Vogel will have to change a few things in his gameplan, and we are more than sure that LAL’s head coach has enough resources to stay unbeaten in this clash. As for the hosts, they have to win this one and preserve theoretical chances to reach the playoffs. The play-in tournament opens up many possibilities, but we are more than sure that the Pelicans would prefer to avoid the same.
Los Angeles Lakers (28-15, +205) need to start winning and keep the gap between them and the rest of the competition in the West. The Clippers are near, and just behind them are the Nuggets and the TrailBlazers. So, even though LeBron and AD aren’t playing, the purple and gold have to find a way to post victories.
The last two games saw them posting losses, the first against the Hawks at home, 99-94 in a match that saw LeBron picking an ankle injury and leaving the floor, but only following a three that kept his 10+point streak alive. LAL would routinely lose the next event in Phoenix, where Suns rolled over them, 111-94.
Montrezl Harrell had a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 10-for-13 from the field, while Dennis Schroder added 22 with three assists. Talen Horton-Tucker once again did his part of the job superbly with 17 points and six boards off the bench.
New Orleans Pelicans (18-24, -245) recorded a controversial loss in Denver where the referees helped them beat the Nuggets. The foul criteria in this one was pretty messy, with the Pels scoring the most of their points in the latter stage of the game from the free-throw line. They had 30 free throws and hosts just 10 (Jokic 0).
But that isn’t of our concern. What we saw also were Zion Williamson’s and Brandon Ingram’s 30-point performances. They were 20-for-36 from the field combined, with the note that Ingram added 6 boards and 8 assists.
Nickeil Walker-Alexader was very good, too, dropping 20 points in 31 minutes, indicating that he might become a very important player for the Pels in the second part of the season. Another guy who did his job without noise is Josh Hart, who had 12 points, nine rebounds, and six assists off the bench.
Head to Head Games
The Lakers defeated the Pels in the opening part of the season pretty easily, 112-95. LBJ had 21 points, 11 assists, and 8 boards. AD added 17 buckets. Zion, on the other side, posted 21 with 12 boards, and Ingram had 20.
All the factors here are pointing towards the Pels’ victory. Without LeBron and Davis, the Lakers are not the same team, and we all pretty much know that. So if you want to bet here, hosts’ triumph is the best choice for investing some money. The odds are solid, and the risk is not that high; therefore, just go with it.
Pick: Pelicans win
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.