The New Orleans Pelicans (7-12) host the Los Angeles Clippers (15-5) Friday evening inside the Smoothie King Center. The game will tip-off at 7:00pm CST and air on Fox Sports New Orleans and on Prime Ticket.
Fortunately for New Orleans, the Clippers snapped their 3-game losing streak against the Cleveland Cavaliers on TNT Thursday. Although I’m sure they will play with the energy one would expect from a top team, they won’t be especially amped up to get off the schneid.
Another potentially important factor in the Pelicans favor will be the obvious rest advantage they will enjoy for just the second time this season.
Clippers play tonight. Tomorrow will be just the second game all season the Pelicans have rest advantage. 1st? Blowout win over Portland.— David Fisher (@DavidFisherTBW) December 1, 2016
Will fresh legs be enough to fetch the win?
Maybe, but I know of a better reason to be hopeful.
Since Jrue Holiday’s return, the Pelicans have been one of the best teams in basketball. In the last seven games on the NBA schedule, New Orleans has fielded the 9th best offense and the 4th best defense. Their +9.6 net rating only lags behind the Jazz and Warriors.
During the 5-2 stretch, the Pelicans are averaging 107.6 points but giving up only 100.7. The three-point shot is finally dropping (37.7% — 8th best) while opponents are having difficultly knocking down their looks (31.6% — 3rd best). Oh, and the small ball lineups haven’t resulted in a massacre on the glass as New Orleans is 7th in defensive rebounding percentage.
Hey oh — Wouldn’t it be fun if the Pelicans can keep their home winning streak intact, a possible 6 games, against Chris Paul?
What to watch:
Anthony Davis vs Blake Griffin. Davis hasn’t been involved in a New Orleans win against the Clippers since his second year in the league. In the four consecutive losses since that victory, he has averaged 20.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 0.5 steals. Can he nuclear against Blake Griffin like he has almost every other opponent so far this season?
Langston Galloway three-pointers. In team wins, Galloway is knocking down 48.6% of his 5 attempts a game. In losses, that percentage plummets to 32.6% (on 3.8 attempts). Is Langston trying to be this year’s version of Ryan Anderson?