The Brooklyn Nets lost out to the new-look Miami Heat in their last NBA match and are now up against the New Orleans Pelicans. Kevin Durant was forced out after playing 4 minutes while Blake Griffin registered what was his second NBA start for the Brooklyn Nets. Landry Shamet ended up top scoring off the bench with 30 points, while Kyrie Irving finished with 20 points and 9 assists.
The New Orleans Pelicans, on the other hand, have seen multiple impressive individual performances, although they have struggled for consistency and are currently on a 3-game losing streak. They currently have the third worst defense in the NBA and find themselves vying for a spot in the play-in tournament. The New Orleans Pelicans are currently 11th in the NBA Western Conference.
Brooklyn Nets vs New Orleans Pelicans – prediction
The Brooklyn Nets will be reeling from the loss of Kevin Durant, who joins James Harden on the list of injuries. Landry Shamet is expected to start in place of Durant. He produced a big 30-point performance last time around. In lieu of injuries, Kyrie Irving is expected to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a victory, with Blake Griffin expected to continue his role as the starting center.
The New Orleans Pelicans have all of their major stars available and will be looking to get their first victory in four matches. Young stars Zion, Ingram and Lonzo Ball have all been impressive in recent weeks, with most of their problems occurring at the other end of the court this season. Overall, the Brooklyn Nets will be the favorites to win, although the Pelicans do have the players to make a match out of it.
Golden State Warriors vs Philadelphia 76ers – combined 5
Point Guard – Lonzo Ball l Shooting Guard – Kyrie Irving l Small Forward – Brandon Ingram l Power Forward – Zion Williamson l Center – Blake Griffin.
In the absence of both James Harden and Kyrie Irving, two New Orleans Pelicans stars have been included in our hypothetical combined 5 for the matchup. Lonzo Ball has impressed with his ability to impact the game on both ends of the court and is averaging 14 points per game along with 5.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game. He forms the guard pairing along with the Brooklyn Nets’ Kyrie Irving.
Irving is tied with Durant as the Brooklyn Nets’ most prolific scorer this season and is having his best season with respect to overall shooting efficiency as well. Irving will be required to deliver a big performance against the New Orleans Pelicans if his team are to get by with a victory.
Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson are two of the best young stars in the NBA currently. Both are having highly productive seasons and are averaging around 25 points per game. Ingram’s passing abilities and 3-point shooting have been on point, with Williamson also registering a high shooting efficiency of over 61%. Both have been included in the combined 5 due to injuries to the likes of Kevin Durant and James Harden.
Finally, LaMarcus Aldridge’s retirement has left the Brooklyn Nets marginally short at the center position, although the likes of Griffin, Claxton and DeAndre Jordan are all currently fit and firing. Blake Griffin has only started two games but has shown flashes of brilliance. He is shooting at more than 42% from the 3-point zone and can be expected to have a greater impact for the rest of the season.