The daily NBA preview takes it to the rim for the heavyweight LA Clippers’ home clash with the improving New Orleans Pelicans.
13:00 (AEDT), Mon 25th Nov @ Staples Center, Los Angeles
History: Played 58: Pelicans 32 V Clippers 26
Last meeting: November 14, 2019: Pelicans 132 d Clippers at Smoothie King Center
Final Thoughts: The LA Clippers will have revenge on their minds after going down to the New Orleans Pelicans 10 days ago.
Jrue Holiday (36 pts, 7 ast) and Derrick Favors (20 pts, 20 reb) led the Pels to a 132-127 upset at home. Paul George made his team debut for a Clippers line-up that was missing Kawhi Leonard.
But the 11-5 Clippers have won four straight since that defeat. George and Leonard already have the makings of a Championship-contending combination.
Meanwhile, Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell have all stepped up in tight victories over the Thunder, Celtics and Rockets over the past week.
Despite Anthony Davis’ exit, the injury absence of No.1 Draft pick Zion Williamson and a dreadful 1-7 start, the Pelicans are slowly becoming an early-season surprise packet.
They have improved to 6-9 with five wins in their last eight games. A three-game winning run was halted yesterday 128-120 by the Jazz in Salt Lake City, however. Brandon Ingram has been a force for New Orleans, averaging 26.2 points, 7.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists.
The Pelicans have won seven of their last nine against the Clippers, including three straight at Staples.
But the Clippers are a dominant 10-1 at home so far this season. The Pelicans are 2-5 on the road.
The Pelicans – $6.40 outsiders here – boast the eighth-best defensive ranking in the NBA. But it’s their bottom-five defence that is a major concern here – as well as the fact they are playing their third road game in four days.
After a string of nail-biters, the fresher, deeper Clippers will be eager to flex their muscles.
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