Venue: Ball Arena
Home: Denver Nuggets
Away: New Orleans Pelicans
31.03.2023, @ 05:00 AM (+03:00 UTC)
The NBA season is reaching its climatic stage and we are less than two weeks away from the start of the Postseason. The fate of many middle-ranked teams is in question and we may learn what trajectory they will take as late as the last day of the Regular Season. One such suitor is the New Orleans Pelicans and they will take on the Denver Nuggets here.Claim Your Welcome Bonus!
The Nuggets head into the affair after yet another imposing effort as they defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 116:111 on the heels of a 25 points, 17 rebounds, and 12 assist performance by Nikola Jokic. Denver has won four in a row to solidify their first position in the West further. Denver has had a successful season, capturing 51 wins and 24 losses, looking in a prime position to make a deep Playoffs run. Will they be able to do so in a relatively weakened but still threatening West?
To be honest, their meticulous and methodical play is well-suited for the Playoffs where the defenses hit another level and slow the game down. They were 23rd(98.1) in the league in terms and managed the second-best offensive rating(118.5). The Nuggets are number one in field goal percentage(50.9%) and shot the best percentage from deep-range(39.4%). In addition to that, they held teams to third-lowest in terms of three-point percentage(34.4%). Thus, the Nuggets have had a successful season overall.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans’ winning trail was dented after they lost 109:120 against the Golden State Warriors despite a 26 points and seven assists performance by Brandon Ingram. This broke a five-game winning streak and the Pels could have won six in a row as they were up by 20 points at one point but were buried by the Curry storm and also tired legs in a back-to-back. The Pels have had a tough season since Zion Williamson got injured but somehow the team has managed a 50% win percentage with 38 wins and 38 losses.
The major proponent of that has been Brandon Ingram who has scored in the 25+ points range while dishing 6+ assists regularly to take the ball-handling, shot-creating, and playmaking pressure away from CJ McCollum, who also needs to play off-the-ball. The role players have stepped up after a lean period and the defense has tightened up. However, it is going to be a tough ask without Zion Williamson to even getting past the Play-in tournament. Will Zion return before the Play-in tournament if the Pels make it there?
- Nuggets: OUT: Collin Gillespie, Jack White. QUESTIONABLE: Peyton Watson, Vlatko Cancar, Nikola Jokic;
- Pelicans: OUT: Jose Alvarado, Zion Williamson, EJ Liddell.
Player Props Predictions
- Expected Leading Scorers: Brandon Ingram(28+ Points), Nikola Jokic(26+ Points)-QUES;
- Expected Leading Rebounders: Jonas Valanciunas(14+ Rebounds), Nikola Jokic(12+ Rebounds)-QUES;
- Expected Leading Playmakers: Nikola Jokic(9+ Assists)-QUES, Brandon Ingram(6+ Assists).
Expert Betting Tips
The Nuggets have done a lot of winning and they are a troublesome opponent on both ends for any squad. The Pelicans have also gotten going but their chances for a deep Playoff run are way less than the Nuggets. The Nuggets will need to shut down Brandon Ingram because he has taken over games and killed the opposition’s defense repeatedly. Anyway, I see an intense battle and a big performance from Ingram but I expect the Nuggets to sneak out of this one. I predict a scoreline of 125:120 in favor of Denver.