Washington Wizards vs. New Orleans Pelicans 10/20/14 NBA Preseason Pick, Odds, Prediction
New Orleans Pelicans (3-2) at Washington Wizards (4-2)
Monday October 20
The Line: Washington Wizards –TBD -- Over/Under: TBD See the Latest Odds
The Washington Wizards host the New Orleans Pelicans in the second preseason matchup of these teams from opposite conferences on Monday night in Baltimore, Maryland at 7PM ET.
The New Orleans Pelicans are 3-2 to start the preseason after playing a solid schedule of competition, with wins against the Heat, Rockets and Thunder, and losses against the Hawks and Wizards. PF Anthony Davis has been in beast mode in the Pelicans last two exhibition games averaging 27 points and eight rebounds per game while playing 26 and 31 minutes. PG Jrue Holiday is recovering from a tibial stress fracture sustained last season but it hasn’t seemed to affect him as he’s performed well in limited minutes thus far. SG Eric Gordon is also coming back from injury last season but looks to still represent a solid scoring option if he can stay healthy. Tyreke Evans has only played in one exhibition game thus far but is one of the more versatile players in the league if not hampered by his hamstring, as he can drive the lane and force double teams in addition to being able to dish assists and grab rebounds as well being oversized for the shooting guard position when playing there. Omer Asik is a solid defensive-minded center with good fundamentals who complements Davis’ shot blocking ability nicely. On the bench, the Pelicans have a great scorer in Ryan Anderson who can play a stretch four or possibly small forward, a veteran shooter in John Salmons, and a good defensive backup down low in Jeff Withey. Rookie Russ Smith and newly acquired Jimmer Fredette will be looking to make names for themselves as well.
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The Washington Wizards are 4-2 to start preseason play with wins against the Bulls, Pelicans, Pistons and Maccabi Haifa (Israeli Premier League) and two losses coming against the Hornets. The Wizards have one of the best backcourts in the league when healthy with PG John Wall and SG Bradley Beal, but unfortunately Beal broke his left wrist and could be out as long as two months. The Wizards took a hit at the small forward position losing Trevor Ariza, and they tried to replace him with veteran Paul Pierce in a move I’m not a huge fan of. The Wizards do have a great PF in Nene Hilario who is a big, physical Brazilian and C Marcin Gortat is solid and reliable with more of a defensive-minded approach to the game despite getting stronger offensively over the past two seasons. The Wizards have some decent bench options with veteran PG Andre Miller running the offense with the second unit, DeJuan Blair and Kris Humphries offering a physical presence down low, and Otto Porter Jr. looking to establish himself after being selected third overall in the 2013 draft.
The Wizards figure to be a small favorite here but I like the Pelicans to actually get the win straight up after these teams already faced off in a close battle and the Wizards are weaker without their star shooting guard Bradley Beal. My unit rating will depend on the spread but I’m on the Pelicans here. Please check back when the line is released or follow me on Twitter @_BrianFItz_ for an update on my unit rating.