In their first meeting of the season, Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson dropped 30 points apiece to lead the New Orleans Pelicans to a 113-108 victory. For the Denver Nuggets, 'Joker' Nikola Jokic shone bright with a triple-double outing, raking in 29 points, ten rebounds and as many assists, en route his 52nd career triple-double.
The Denver Nuggets will enter this matchup with a 26-18 record on the season. They are fifth in the West, two games behind the LA Lakers. Meanwhile, the 19-24 New Orleans Pelicans are out of the playoff picture and languishing in 11th place in the West.
Fixture: Denver Nuggets vs New Orleans Pelicans Prediction - NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Friday, March 26th, 2021; 8:00 PM ET (Saturday, 5:30 AM; IST).
Venue: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA.
Denver Nuggets Preview
After a disappointing start to their campaign, the Denver Nuggets have revived their fortunes ahead of the trade deadline.
With the LA Lakers slumping to a 3-game skid post LeBron James' injury, the Denver Nuggets are on the cusp of surpassing the fourth-placed defending champions.
However, the Denver Nuggets are coming off a disappointing loss to the struggling Toronto Raptors in their previous outing.
The Raptors hammered the Denver Nuggets with 24 threes on a 50% shooting display from the field. Jokic and Jamal Murray combined for 40 points between them. Micheal Porter Jr. tallied 19 points and eight boards but failed to deliver a win for his team.
With the loss, the Denver Nuggets have now split their last four games and will seek a return to winning ways against the New Orleans Pelicans.
Key Player - Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic is a frontrunner for the MVP title. He is averaging a near triple-double on the season, with 27 points, 11.3 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game in 44 appearances. He is shooting the ball at an unbelievable 57% accuracy from the field and a respectable 42% from beyond the arc.
Jokic produced a triple-double outing when the Denver Nuggets played the New Orleans Pelicans earlier this season. He could potentially explode for a monster performance on Friday.
On paper, Jokic should have the upper hand against his New Orleans Pelicans' counterpart Steven Adams, thanks to his superior all-around playmaking abilities.
Denver Nuggets Predicted Lineup
Point Guard Jamal Murray; Shooting Guard Will Barton; Small Forward Michael Porter Jr.; Power Forward Paul Millsap; Center Nikola Jokic.
New Orleans Pelicans Preview
The New Orleans Pelicans will hope to repeat the outcome they had on Sunday against the Denver Nuggets. They will once again look to Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram for inspiration.
The New Orleans Pelicans are entering this fixture on a two-game winning streak. Stan Van Gundy's side beat the two top contenders in the West - the Denver Nuggets and the LA Lakers - in their last two outings.
Zion Williamson is having a breakout season, leading the New Orleans Pelicans with 25.7 points and seven boards per game in 41 appearances. Meanwhile, his frontcourt partner Brandon Ingram has tallied 24.2 points and 4.7 assists in 43 appearances thus far.
The upcoming fixture should feature an entertaining showdown between the two top duos in the association as Williamson and Ingram prepare to take on Jokic and Murray.
Key Player – Zion Williamson
Zion Williamson has sizzled with increased game-time this campaign. The 20-year-old has raised his ceiling, as he is playing like an MVP in the making.
However, he will need to produce another stellar outing to help his team do the double against the embattled Denver Nuggets. He is coming off a dominant outing against the LA Lakers, producing 27 points, nine boards and five assists in 29 minutes from the floor.
Zion Williamson has shot at an incredible 62% from the floor this campaign. Besides his scoring exploits, he has also gathered seven rebounds and dished out 3.4 dimes per contest.
New Orleans Pelicans Predicted Lineup
Point Guard Lonzo Ball; Shooting Guard Eric Bledsoe; Small Forward Brandon Ingram; Power Forward Zion Williamson; Center Steven Adams.
Nuggets vs Pelicans Match Prediction
The Denver Nuggets, who have been shaky in their recent stretch, could face an uphill battle against a New Orleans Pelicans side firing on all cylinders.
Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray will need to come to the fore if the Nuggets hope to win this match. Jokic, in particular, will have to come to the party from the get-go and move the ball around with his impressive playmaking abilities.
Nevertheless, the outcome of this game could depend on which of the two duos in the match has a better outing.
New Orleans Pelicans are the favorites to win this matchup, but the Denver Nuggets are more than capable of taking the win.
Where to watch the Denver Nuggets vs New Orleans Pelicans game?
The game between the Denver Nuggets and the New Orleans Pelicans will be telecast on Fox Sports New Orleans and Altitude Sports (Denver). The match can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.