Editorial by Graydon Fox
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On Tuesday, March 6th, the (35-26) New Orleans Pelicans will be on the road to take on the (33-28) Los Angeles Clippers.
“The Crowd” is projecting a final score of Clippers 106.7 – Pelicans 99.6 with an over/under of 206.3.
Statistics (2017-18 season):
Point differential: Clippers +1.1 (13th) > Pelicans +0.4 (15th)
Points per game: Pelicans 112.1 (3rd) > Clippers 108.9 (7th)
Points allowed per game: Clippers 107.8 (22nd) > Pelicans 111.7 (29th)
Field Goal Percentage Offense: Pelicans 48.2% (2nd) > Clippers 46.9 (9th)
Three Point Percentage: Pelicans 36.2% (14th) > Clippers 35.2% (24th)
Field Goal Percentage Defense: Clippers 45.4% (8th) > Pelicans 45.9% (15th)
Turnovers committed per game: Clippers 14.3 (20th) > Pelicans 14.9 (25th)
Turnovers forced per game: Clippers 14.2 (10th) > Pelicans 14.0 (13th)
Rebounds per game: Clippers 43.8 (14th) = Pelicans 43.8 (14th)
Assists per game: Pelicans 26.4 (2nd) > Clippers 22.4 (19th)
New Orleans was dealt a serious blow when All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins suffered a season ending Achilles tear. Cousins was having a monster season (25.2 PPG, 12.9 RPG, and 5.4 APG) prior to the injury. The Pelicans are (9-5) without Cousins but are currently riding an eight-game winning streak. Anthony Davis has put the team on his back (28.1 PPG, 11.1 RPG) and vaulted himself into the MVP race. Davis ranks second in the league in blocked shots per game (2.18 BPG). Jrue Holiday has been a consistent performer (19.2 PPG and 5.5 APG) while midseason pickup Nikola Mirotic (14.0 PPG and 8.1 RPG) has been huge filling in for Cousins. New Orleans can score with anyone but their defense has allowed the second most points of any team. The Pelicans average 112.1 points per game (3rd) and allow 111.7 (29th).
The Clippers traded their best player Blake Griffin to the Pistons but have somehow managed to stay in the playoff race. Overall, the Clippers are (7-3) in their last ten games. Tobias Harris has picked up right where he left up pre-trade (18.4 PPG and 6.6 RPG) while Avery Bradley has continued to battle nagging injuries. Lou Williams (23.2 PPG and 5.4 APG) is the biggest All-Star snub in recent memory but is averaging career highs in both points and assists at age 31. DeAndre Jordan’s name was the subject of endless trade talks at the deadline but the Clippers chose to keep him and he has continued to perform (11.8 PPG and league leading 15.0 RPG). The Clippers average 108.9 points per game (7th) and allow 107.8 (22nd).
The Clippers are (17-13) at home this season while the Pelicans are (18-14) on the road. These two teams have split the season series (1-1) but the Clippers are (7-3) in their last ten head to head games with the Pelicans. Anthony Davis is averaging an absurd 35.9 PPG during the Pelicans’ eight game winning streak. I’m going against “The Crowd” and picking the Pelicans to win on the road.
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