Pelicans vs. Pacers
With all of the focus recently on Anthony Davis and his desire to leave the Big Easy, many of us are
wondering what that may look like for the Pelicans long term. They currently have one of the best big
men in recent history, but all that is soon to change once the, now seemingly inevitable trade comes to
fruition. Until it does though, their opponents will have their hands full with the eye-browed one himself.
The Pacers are 1 point favorite.
Pacers Struggling Without Star
Indiana is coming off of a win against Miami in their last outing, but the loss of Victor Oladipo has been a
heavy one to bear. Their emotional leader, points’ leader, and facilitator in their offense is the cog that
moves the team. Without him, their ball movement and total points are down resulting in them losing four
of their last five games. The pelicans aren’t exactly on a roll either, especially since AD announced he is
seeking a trade. They have just one victory in their last six games.
Pelicans Riddled with Injuries
The interesting matchup to watch, for me at least, will be when the Pelicans have the ball. They currently
are ranked third in the league in offensive production, while the Pacers feature the league’s best defense,
at least by points allowed. I see this game going in the Pelican’s favor mostly due to the fact that they out
rebound nearly every team they face, on both ends of the court. Anthony Davis may be done in New
Orleans long term, but he is still auditioning for a new squad. He will likely achieve some pretty incredible
stat lines from now to then, whenever that then is that he is traded. Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle
being out of commission for this game will hurt the pelicans inside presence, but again, they have one of
the most dominant bigs in the game right now in Anthony Davis. That loss of presence will only be felt
when he is off the floor. The combination of Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo will help keep ball movement
flowing, but neither is overly effective from deep range so don’t expect many three ball attempts in this
Pick and Prediction
As for the Pacers, life without Oladipo has been a struggle, but players like Myles Turner have helped
bolster their defense. He currently leads the league in blocked shots, helping to keep the scores more
manageable to overcome without their leading scorer. Since the departure of Oladipo, though, they have
seemed to become more balanced. They now have six players that produce an average of 10 points per
game or more. Of those six, four are bigs, including Myles Turner, Tyreke Evans, Bojan Bogdanovic,
Domantas Sabonis, and Thaddeus Young. They arguably have the most productive group of bigs in the
league on both ends of the floor, which is why they are currently sitting in second place in the Central
Division. If Anthony Davis plays, though, I think he will overcome them and the Pelicans will win by a
score of 112 – 103.