In tonights Cross-Conference match-up, we will see Detroit Pistons hosting New Orleans Pelicans at Little Caesars Arena, where Pistons lost their last two matches.
The home side, Detroit Pistons are coming into this match with 3 consecutive defeats behind them. In the course of the 3 games, they were defeated by Oklahoma City Thunder (83:110), Milwaukee Bucks (115:92) and Philadelphia 76ers (111:117). In this season, they are sitting at 6th spot in the East, with an overall record of 13-10 and 9-5 at home. Pistons were performing well up until the most recent 3 consecutive defeats, as they were on a 5 game winning streak, looking even further back, Pistons only lost 2 games out of 11 played, but their good run was stopped on 4th of December with a loss against Thunder and as mentioned, Bucks and 76ers. Looking at their most recent match against 76ers on 8th of December, Pistons put up a good performance in the 1st half, as they were leading by double digits by the end of the 2nd quarter (68:56), mostly due to their exceptional performance in the 2nd quarter, when they outscored 76ers by 13 points (41:28). However, the next quarter was a completely different picture. Philadelphia dominated the 3rd quarter with 64.7 FG%, whereas Pistons only managed to hit 23.5% of their shots. This resulted in 76ers almost catching up to Detroit (90:89) by the end of the quarter. With only 1 point separating the teams, it all came down to the last quarter, where neither of the teams really performed well, but it was 76ers who were slightly better. Pistons failed to score all of their 9 3pt attempts which were arguably the reason for their defeat, whereas 76ers scored 30% of their attempts from behind the arc (3/10). The last quarter ended 21:28 for the visitors, which meant Philadelphia won their 18th game of the season. Final score: 111:117.
New Orleans Pelicans are currently 12th in the West, with an overall record of 13-14 and a terrible 3-10 away record. Looking at their most recent games, Pelicans have a weird pattern, alternating between wins and losses for the past 7 games (3-4), however, they had suffered a 4 game losing streak from 22th of November till 27th of November, so there is a slight improvement. In their most recent match against Memphis Grizzlies, Pelicans suffered a close win at home, which was their 4th defeat at home this season. Looking at that match, it was a close one from the start. Pelicans were trailing by only 1 point by the end of the 1st quarter but managed to get a 2 point lead by the end of the second quarter. The 3rd quarter was once again in Memphis favour, as it ended in 24:27, which meant teams went into the 4th quarter with only 1 point separating them (84:85). The last quarter started with Pelicans doing much better, as they had up to 8 point lead (100:92), but Grizzlies soon caught up to them, and with a few lead changes in the final minutes managed to outperform Pelicans, thus winning by 4 points in the end. Final score: 103:107.
The last time these two teams met was on 9th of July when the Detroit Pistons won by 8 points (105:97). However, I have my doubts this game will end up the same way. Detroit is clearly struggling in the offensive end. Their best offensive player, Griffin has got just too much weight on his shoulder and he can’t stay the main offensive men for the rest of the season, as he just can’t do it all by himself. In this fixture, his job will be much harder, as he is facing Anthony Davis, who is expected to stop Detroit best scorer. On the other hand, Pelicans have got a decent offence, with was clearly seen in a match against Dallas Mavericks (132:106). In addition, Tim Frazier proved to be a good replacement at the PG position, so the absence of Payton should not effect Pelicans to a huge degree. I expect Pelicans to prevail here and go on to win their 2nd away game of the season.
Prediction: New Orleans Pelicans to win
Odds: 1.85 Pinnacle, 5Dimes