New Orleans Pelicans vs Los Angeles Lakers: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

WSN Picks: New Orleans Pelicans defeat Los Angeles Lakers.

How to Watch

What: New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers

Where: STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

When: Tuesday, 25 February 2020, 10:00 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): TNT, Fox Sports New Orleans | 710 AM ESPN / 1330 AM ESPN DEPORTES, ESPN 100.3FM

New Orleans Pelicans (Away)

Head Coach: Alvin Gentry {All-Time 504-585 | MIA, DET, LAC, PHX, NOP}

Season Record: 25-32

Projected Starting Five: (G) Lonzo Ball – (G) Jrue Holiday – (F) Brandon Ingram – (F) Zion Williamson – (C) Derrick Favors

Top Performers

  • (F) Brandon Ingram – 33.9 MPG | 24.7 PPG | 6.3 RPG | 4.3 APG
  • (F) Zion Williamson – 27.6 MPG | 22.4 PPG | 7.2 RPG | .578 FG%
  • (G) Jrue Holiday – 34.6 MPG | 19.3 PPG | 6.6 APG | 1.7 SPG

The New Orleans Pelicans find themselves on the outside looking in on the Western Conference playoff race. Seven games below .500 and two capable teams in the Blazers and Spurs with them, the Pelicans have their work cut out for them to make the playoffs.

New Orleans is coming off of a comfortable defeat of the Golden State Warriors. While the Warriors put up a fight in the first half, the Pelicans showed that they were a class above the Western Conference bottom-feeders come the second half.

The Pelicans have a different test ahead of them in the Los Angeles Lakers. A star-studded team that plays a simple game, the Lakers are one of the NBA’s elite. Whether or not the Pelicans have the defensive maturity to compete will be on full display.

Los Angeles Lakers (Home)

Head Coach: Frank Vogel {All-Time 649-346 | IND, ORL, LAL}

Season Record: 42-12

Projected Starting Five: (G) Avery Bradley – (G) Danny Green – (F) LeBron James – (F) Anthony Davis – (C) Javale McGee

Top Performers

  • (F) Anthony Davis – 34.6 MPG | 26.7 PPG | 9.3 RPG | 2.5 BPG
  • (F) LeBron James – 34.9 MPG | 25.1 PPG | 10.7 APG | 7.7 RPG
  • (F) Kyle Kuzma – 24.6 MPG | 12.5 PPG | 4.4 RPG | .325 3P%

The Los Angeles Lakers still sit among the elite in the NBA as the top team in the Western Conference. 7-3 in their last ten games, the Lakers have absolutely dominated the West with a conference record of 29-6.

The Lakers are coming off of a gritty win against the Boston Celtics. Almost losing the game due to a disinterested first-half effort, some second-half adjustments swung the match in their favor.

It will be a well-anticipated matchup when LeBron James finally faces off with Zion Williamson. The running style of the Pelicans has benefitted the young forward, something that the Lakers must contain.

What’s at Stake?

The New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers have met 59 times in their regular-season history. The Lakers lead the all-time series over the Pelicans 37-22.

A win for the New Orleans Pelicans would bring them within four games of the eighth seed in the Western Conference.

A win for the Los Angeles Lakers would give them a six-game lead over the second play Denver Nuggets.

Questions to Answer

Can the Pelicans stay locked in all game?

Will the Lakers stars be able to improve on their efficiency?

We are going to compare the New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

NOP: Energy From Tip

The New Orleans Pelicans are a good young team, emphasis on young. While they have the talent to keep themselves in games, their lack of maturity has made matches more difficult than they should be.

In their last match against the Golden State Warriors, the Pelicans lost the first half of the game by 10 points. They were able to turn it up after the break, outscoring the Warriors 69 to 45.

While Brandon Ingram struggled from the field, it was Jrue Holiday and Zion Williamson that helped carry them back from the deficit. Their running game can be deadly, but they are caught out too often in hopes of creating a break. They can’t afford such issues against a more capable fast-break team in the Lakers.

LAL: Efficiency First!

The Los Angeles Lakers are famous for creating excellent opportunities for themselves in both the full court and the half-court. In their last match against the Celtics, they struggled to do so in key situations.

Leading the team in minutes, Anthony Davis was a disappointing 10-25 from the field, though made up for with nine made free-throws. As teams push him out of the paint, he has shown that he doesn’t quite yet have the playmaking to beat swarming defenses. Bradley and Green struggled as well, shooting a combined 2-8 from three.

LeBron James was strong in the paint and from deep, when he is in attack mode there is very little that can be done. For the Lakers to take down the Pelicans, they can’t keep their opponents in the game with poor shot selection.

New Orleans Pelicans Roster Notes

(F) Darius Miller – 23 Oct 2019 – Out (Achilles) – Miller is not expected to play this season as he recovers from a ruptured right Achilles tendon, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

(F) Kenrich Williams – 21 Feb 2020 – Out (Back) – The Pelicans announced that Williams will miss at least one more week.

Los Angeles Lakers Roster Notes

(F) Anthony Davis – 22 Feb 2020 – Day To Day (Calf) – Davis is probable for Sunday’s (Feb. 23) game against Boston.

Head-to-Head: (F) Zion Williamson vs (F) LeBron James

Let’s not beat around the bush. This is the matchup that the world wants to see. Probably the first physical match we’ve seen for LeBron James, Zion Williamson’s athleticism will be tested against one of the all-time greatest.

(F) Zion Williamson (6-6, 285lb (198cm, 129kg) | Duke | Rookie)

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
19-2019NOP1127.622.47.22.3.578.364

Zion Williamson is an absolute load to manage in the paint. With the jumping ability to match anyone in the league and near unmatched strength, Zion is one of the leagues most unique players. He’ll have to contest with the length of the Lakers in the paint, as he likely won’t be able to muscle through everything against the Lakers. His three-point shot will have to return as well considering, after his 4-4 debut from three, it took more than 30 days for him to hit his next three against the Warriors.

(F) LeBron James (6-9, 250lb (206cm, 113kg) | Saint Vincent-Saint Mary HS | 16 Years)

SeasonAgeTeamGamesMPPTSREBASTFG%3P%
19-2035LAL5234.925.17.710.7.491.344

How will LeBron James deal with the strength of Zion Williamson? It’s wrong to assume he won’t adjust, as his body of work suggests he’ll be able to. James’ game is intended to keep his teammates involved, as much as get his own. But don’t be surprised to see LeBron make it a point to show Zion that the spotlight of the NBA is still his own.

New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers Predictions

Why the New Orleans Pelicans Will Win

If the New Orleans Pelicans can find their way into the paint and exploit the Lakers’ bigs on the perimeter, the game could very well be theirs. A running team themselves, the Pelicans should do their best to slow the Lakers’ break.

Why the Los Angeles Lakers Will Win

While the Lakers like to play a bit of showtime on the run, they can find some real success by taking advantage of the Pelicans on the inside. As usual, size is in their favor, but they can’t afford to turn it on late as they did against the Celtics.

WSN’s Pick

WSN Picks: New Orleans Pelicans defeat Los Angeles Lakers.

New Orleans Pelicans vs Los Angeles Lakers

The odds for the Pelicans vs Lakers will be updated as soon as they are made available by the sportsbooks. For more NBA odds visit William Hill NJ, DraftKings Sportsbook, and 888Sport NJ.

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