Denver Nuggets vs. New Orleans Pelicans - 11/21/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
New Orleans Pelicans (6-4) at Denver Nuggets (4-7)
NBA Basketball: Friday, November 21, 2014 at 9:00 pm (Pepsi Center)
The Line: Denver Nuggets +2 -- Over/Under: 212.5 See the Latest Odds
TV: ALT, FSNO
The New Orleans Pelicans look to battle past the improving Denver Nuggets in a Western Conference matchup from the Pepsi Center in Denver on Friday night.
USA TODAY Sports
The New Orleans Pelicans sit at 6-4 on the year and have to be thinking about fighting for a playoff spot this season with a healthy roster in place. The team is centered around All-Star center Anthony Davis who is outperforming the lofty expectations critics and fans set out for him, averaging 25.5 points, 11.4 rebounds, four blocks and 2.3 steals per game as one of the most complete players period in the entire league. Of course the Pelicans have surrounded Davis with strong pieces as the backcourt of Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon is helping the offense click, and the emergence of Tyreke Evans as a consistent starter is helping create mismatches on double teams. Adding to the Pelicans success is the return of stretch forward Ryan Anderson who averages 16.4 points per game and provides a nice punch of scoring off the bench. The Pelicans seem to be a strong candidate to challenge for a seven or eight seed this year and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them manage to stay above .500 for the majority of the year.
The Denver Nuggets are 4-7 to start the year as injuries and perhaps poor coaching have hampered the athletic team’s output. Encouraging for Denver though is the fact that they’ve won three of four games, including a win over the Cavaliers in Cleveland after having been blasted on national TV by the Cavs just ten days prior. The Nuggets are still sloppy on the defensive end conceding 107 points per game, but the offense can really run the floor and tire teams out when in form in the altitude. Of course much of that offensive success hinges on the output of PG Ty Lawson, who leads the team in scoring with 16.7 points per game while also averaging nine assists. SG Aaron Afflalo is starting to heat up after a sluggish return to his old team and we all know what Kenneth Faried is capable even if the results haven’t quite surfaced this year. Denver will generally go deep into their bench which is understandable given the nagging injuries to Danilo Gallinari and Randy Foye who they relied on heavily for three point shooting last year, an area that is lacking with this team currently.
Anything can happen in the Denver altitude and we’ve certainly seem some signature efforts at home by Denver over the years but this current team is nowhere near the level of talent we’ve come to expect in previous seasons given the slew of injuries. The Pelicans are far from a lock as a road favorite but with a small enough number they’re the easy selection in this matchup.