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New Orleans Pelicans vs. Minnesota Timberwolves - 11/14/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Minnesota Timberwolves (2-5) at New Orleans Pelicans (4-3)

NBA Basketball: Friday, November 14, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Smoothie King Center)

The Line: New Orleans Pelicans -8 -- Over/Under: 204.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: FSN, FSNO

The New Orleans Pelicans host the Minnesota Timberwolves in a Western Conference matchup on Friday night.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are 2-5 to start the year and enter this game on a three game losing streak that coincides with having lost starting point guard Ricky Rubio to an ankle injury three games ago.   Zach LaVine is running the point in Rubio’s absence but the rookie from UCLA is in a bad spot with a team that still doesn’t have an identity after the departure of Kevin Love in the offseason.  Nikola Pekovic is one of the more consistent centers in the league and enters this contest averaging 14 points and nine rebounds per game and Kevin Martin leads the team in scoring with 18 points per game, but it will be a little while before rookie Andrew Wiggins is completely comfortable producing at the professional level.  Thaddeus Young and Corey Brewer are decent pieces and Mo Williams could prove intriguing in relief at point, but the Timberwolves are largely an undisciplined group which is evidenced by their 24th ranked defense that allows 103 points per game.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Minnesota Timberwolves - 11/14/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Pelicans enter this game at 4-3 and have playoff aspirations in the loaded West with a healthy starting lineup to start the year.  Anthony Davis is an absolute beast down low averaging 25 points and 13 rebounds per game, and he’s complemented by a strong tandem of Eric Gordon and Jrue Holiday in the backcourt with Tyreke Evans offering plenty of versatility and rim attack at the SF position.  Omer Asik is a solid complement to Davis down low and is content to mostly play a defensive role and hit the glass while making the most of the double team opportunities he’s sure to get with Davis in the game.  Ryan Anderson is shooting the three ball at 41% off the bench and scored 32 points on 8-12 from downtown just two games ago which should really spell trouble for the weak Timberwolves defense.   The Pelicans are 3-1 at home on the year with the loss coming to a good Mavericks team and the three wins all coming by seven or more points.

The Timberwolves have enough individual scoring talent that they can definitely hang in a track meet on any given night but their defense is not strong and in a road game with a lively crowd I see it being their undoing as the Pelicans pull away late to grab the cover.

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New Orleans Pelicans -8 (2 units)

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