On the 3rd of January, we will see a cross-Conference match between New Orleans Pelicans and Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center in New York.
Brooklyn Nets are coming into this match with only 2 wins in ther past 5 games. They have managed to defeat Phoenix Suns (111:103) and Charlotte Hornets (134:32)(OT), but failed to do the same against Indiana Pacers (106:114), Charlotte Hornets in a rematch (100:87) and most recently against Milwaukee Bucks (129:115). The 2-3 record on the past 5 games is a huge change of pace for them, as Nets were on a 7 game winning streak prior to losing the match against Indiana Pacers on 22nd December. Looking at their most recent match against Milwaukee Bucks, Nets underperformed in the first 2 quarters; 29:23 and 42:29, which meant they headed to the 3rd quarter 19 points behind. The third quarter saw teams playing equally well, however Bucks managed to add another point to their lead, which meant Nets were chasing a 20 point deficit in the last quarter. Brooklyn did manage to outscore Bucks in the last 12 minutes but did not come close to closing the gap. At one point, the teams were only 7 points apart, but Bucks managed to hold on to the end and even managed to increase the lead back to 14 points. Final score: 129:115.
The visiting side, New Orleans Pelicans much like Nets only won 2 games in the last 5 played. They won against Dallas Mavericks (114:112) and Minnesota Timberwolves (123:114), but lost to Sacramento Kings (122:117), Dallas Mavericks (112:119) and Houston Rockets (104:108). As of now, Pelicans are second to the last team in the West with an overall record of 17-21, which is the same record Nets hold, with the only exception, the Nets are 9th in the East. The most recent match for Pelicans took place at Smoothie King Center, where they are playing well this season (13-6). They went against Minnesota Timberwolves who are 13th in the league. The first half of the match was in Pelican’s favour, as they managed to outscore Minnesota in both of the first 2 quarters; 27:22, 36:29. With a 12 point lead, Pelicans headed to the 3rd quarter where they lost the lead due to the great performance from Timberwolves who shot with 73.7% accuracy. The teams were 1 point apart before the last quarter (88:89), which meant it was all about to be decided in the 4th quarter. New Orleans managed to get into the lead soon after the 4th quarter started and they did not let go of it for the remaining 10 minutes. Timberwolves shooting was almost halved in the last quarter while Pelicans shot with 50% accuracy from the field and 75% from behind the 3pt line. Final score: 123:114.
Pelicans are coming into this match after a great performance against Wolves, despite their poor performance in the 3rd quarter. They even performed well against Houston Rockets where they lost by only 4 points, but keep in mind Houston is 11-4 in the last 15 games so a close match like that is a sign of something great. Pelicans are expecting Anthony Davis to come back after his illness and he will be a huge factor in achieving a win tonight. On the other side, Nets have quite a lot of issues with their absence players. They will come into this match without Graham, Hollis-Jefferson, Levert and Musa while Crabbe is still questionable. Nets simply don’t have enough depth in their squad and with the number of missing players, they are expected to struggle. We have seen before Nets don’t have an answer for Davis and I expect this to be the case tonight as well. Expect Pelicans to win their 2nd game in a row while Nets suffer their 3rd defeat.
Prediction: New Orleans Pelicans to win
Odds: 1.99 Matchbook