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Jeff Allen NBA Game Preview: Lakers at New Orleans

Jeff Allen NBA Game Preview: Lakers at New Orleans

The two of the most disappointing teams in the NBA square off tonight on the front end of the TNT double header as the Lakers travel to New Orleans to face the Pelicans. The Kobe Bryant farewell tour hasn’t gone as expected as the 10-41 Lakers are in full tank mode to preserve their bottom three protected lottery pick. New Orleans was a “cool” pick for a breakout season and playoff appearance but a bad start and injuries will likely have the 18-30 Pelicans back in the lottery yet again. There has been no movement on the line which opened at New Orleans -10.5. The high/low is up a half click to 209.5 at this writing.

To say that the Lakers are a train wreck would be an understatement. Kobe Bryant (16.4, 4.3, 3.5 and questionable tonight) is a spent bullet. Lou Williams (15.4) and Jordan Clarkson (15.2) would battle for roster spots on other teams but are the second and third leading scorers here. Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell are decent prospects. The likes of Tank Black, Robert Sacre and Marcelo Huertas ride the pine giving you an indication of how far this once great franchise has fallen. The Lakers snapped a ten-game losing streak with a win over Minnesota in their last, averting what would have been a franchise
record 11 game skid.

The Pelicans are loaded with good young players but have yet to reach their potential. Whether it be coaching or lack of or little chemistry mixed with injuries, it’s hard to tell but this team should be better than it is. Anthony Davis (23.0, 10.3) is a freak on both sides of the court but is on the injury report about as much as Deshaun Jackson is for the Philadelphia Eagles. Ryan
Anderson is a good spot up shooter with size on the wing. Tareke Evans (15.2, 6.6) is an underrated PG that just can’t stay healthy. Eric Gordan and Jrue Holiday are two good guards that could be used as trade bait to get some front court help for Davis.

From a betting standpoint, this one is pretty much pick your poison. The Lakers have lost 11 of 12 and just 7-14 in their L21 as a road dog. The Pelican have lost their last two games by double-digits and are just 3-6 in their L9 as a home favorite. The Pelicans have been double-digit favorites just five times in the last three years (none this year) and are 1-4. One positive for New Orleans is that they are 4-0 on the back end of their last four back-to-backs. With Kobe not likely to be on much prime time the rest of the way, this might be a good opportunity to get a pizza and six pack, hope he plays and plays well, and reminisce about his five titles and what a great player he WAS.

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