The Pelicans continue to underperform on the road. They are coming off a close 110-106 loss against Minnesota. The have now lost 7 of its last 8 on the road, many of the losses coming against some of the league’s worst team. This is the NBA highest scoring team at over 117 PPG. With that said, they have been scoring almost 5 points less per game over this bad stretch on the road. The biggest reason for the team’s struggles this year in general is a defense that ranks 5th worst in the league, giving up 114.7 PPG. It’s a shame they are wasting the efforts of MVP candidate C Anthony Davis, who leads the team in scoring at 28.9 PPG and rebounds at 13.3%. Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle are giving good support on offense, scoring 20.8 and 19.9 PPG respectively.
The Clippers will be looking to get back into the win column after playing two clunkers in a row, including a disappointing home loss 109-105 against a struggling Detroit Pistons team. This is the league’s 4th best scoring team (115 PPG), yet they have a tendency to go MIA for games at a time. The defense also goes MIA, giving up 114.2 PPG. Consistency is this team’s Achilles heel. What they do well is shoot the ball, hitting for 47.4% (6th best in NBA) from the field and 38.4% from 3-point range. The Clippers have a lot of scoring depth with Tobias Harris leading the way with 20.8 PPG followed by Dinalo Gallinari coming in at 19.5 PPG.
Prediction: This one could turn into a track meet very quickly. It’s a big total, but we have two of the best offenses facing off against two of the worst defenses. Watching these two teams run up and down the court will be like watching a tennis match. The last time they met in December, the Pelicans won 129-126. Play over 239 (score – Los Angeles 128-120)