The New Orleans Pelicans go for their first win since rookie Zion Williamson made his debut when they host the Boston Celtics on Sunday. The Pelicans are 0-2 with Williamson, the No. 1 overall pick in last summer’s draft, while the Celtics enter this game on a three-game winning streak.
Boston comes in potentially short-handed for this game. The Celtics may be without Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, while Enes Kanter is already going to miss the game. Marcus Smart is also questionable, and his ability to defend would be missed.
This is a strong team even when short-handed, as Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward have been playing fantastic ball throughout the year and tend to elevate their games when serving as the higher options in the offense.
When you play the Pelicans, you have to throw the record out the window. They are bursting with talent at every position and have dealt with several injuries. Their defense continues to be a problem, but the Pelicans can score as many points as needed.
They have talented rookies, and their new acquisitions were playing high-quality ball prior to arrival, and look even better in their new home. It is hard exactly to place the Pelicans, but the fact that they will hold off on making trades says it all. They believe in this core.
The spread for Sunday’s showdown favors Boston by 1.5 points, while the over/under is set at 228.5.
Looking To Stay Hot
There is a whole lot of competition atop the Eastern Conference, while the bottom of the conference has not been so good. The Celtics have basically already locked in a playoff spot and will be trying to finish with home-court advantage for the first round. The No. 4 spot is the last place any team will want to be, as a date with the Bucks would await in round two.
This team is tough and, when at full strength, as good as any other in the conference. Walker got into the All-Star Game as a starter, with Tatum and Brown both having the potential to make it into the game as reserves.
Kanter had been playing fantastic basketball, so he is going to be missed in this one. Vincent Poirier is likely going to slot in as the backup center behind Daniel Theis Sunday.
Trying To Keep Things Interesting
The Pelicans are 12 games under .500 on the year, yet the most entertaining team in the league. Why? Because No. 1 pick and the most hyped player since LeBron James is playing for them, finally. Williamson has shown off his potential in each of his first two games, burying three after three against the Spurs and showing his athleticism with a massive block against Denver.
He was picked No. 1 in this loaded class for a reason, and he and Brandon Ingram are clearly the future of this team. It’s also helped that Lonzo Ball has begun to discover his true potential.
The Pelicans can truly take down any opponent with their arsenal of weapons. They cannot be slept on and will be tough for every foe.
Pelicans Surprise Boston
It is a good day to be a Pelican. Williamson, Ingram and Ball will lift New Orleans to a win, with a strong performance from Jrue Holiday helping seal it.
Free Play: NO +1.5
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