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On Tuesday, January 16th, the (22-20) New Orleans Pelicans will be on the road to take on the (34-10) Boston Celtics.
“The Crowd” is projecting a final score of Celtics 108.4 – Pelicans 101.2 with an over/under of 209.6.
Statistics (2017-18 season):
Point differential: Celtics +5.3 (4th) > Pelicans 0.0 (16th)
Points per game: Pelicans 111.0 (4th) > Celtics 103.0 (22nd)
Points allowed per game: Celtics 97.7 (1st) > Pelicans 111.0 (28th)
Field Goal Percentage Offense: Pelicans 49.0% (2nd) > Celtics 45.0% (21st)
Three Point Percentage: Pelicans 37.2% (6th) > Celtics 36.8% (10th)
Field Goal Percentage Defense: Celtics 43.0% (1st) > Pelicans 46.3% (16th)
Turnovers committed per game: Celtics 13.2 (8th) > Pelicans 15.5 (28th)
Turnovers forced per game: Pelicans 13.8 (17th) > Celtics 13.7 (19th)
Rebounds per game: Celtics 44.5 (8th) > Pelicans 42.6 (18th)
Assists per game: Pelicans 26.2 (2nd) > Celtics 22.0 (20th)
The Celtics sit atop the Eastern Conference despite Gordon Hayward suffering a serious leg injury on opening night. Boston is (18-5) at home this season and currently riding a seven-game winning streak. The Celtics average 103.0 points per game (22nd) while allowing 97.7 (1st). Kyrie Irving (24.0 PPG and 5.0 APG) has carried much of the scoring load but the Celtics have been the NBA’s best defensive team for the majority of this season. The Celtics lead the league in fewest points allowed and opponent field goal percentage. Jaylen Brown (14.2 PPG) and Jayson Tatum (13.9 PPG) have quickly blossomed into two of the league’s best young wing players. Al Horford (13.4 PPG and 7.9 RPG) is one of the only big men in the NBA averaging over five assists.
New Orleans is 6th in the Western Conference and (6-4) in their last ten games. The Pelicans are one of the most dominant offensive teams in the NBA but they have really struggled on the defensive end. They trail only the Warriors in assists but have to do a better job of limiting turnovers. Anthony Davis (26.7 PPG and 10.5 RPG) and DeMarcus Cousins (25.5 PPG and 12.6 RPG) form the most dynamic frontcourt in the league. Jrue Holiday (18.4 PPG and 5.1 APG) is having a very solid season. The weakness of New Orleans is their bench which is the lowest scoring unit in the NBA (15.6 PPG). The Pelicans average 111.0 points per game (4th) and allow 111.0 PPG (28th).
Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins are the two most skilled big men in the league but the Celtics have been dialed in defensively all season. The Pelicans have looked dominant at times but they are so inconsistent. New Orleans gets little to no contribution from their bench so their starters can’t afford to have off nights. The Pelicans have has struggled with turnovers all season and Boston thrives in transition. Boston is playing fantastic right now so I think they’ll cover the (-7.3) spread.
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