The NBA is set up with another great night of action on Friday. Ten games will be up on the board throughout January 8. One of these games will be between the Charlotte Hornets and the New Orleans Pelicans. These two teams have been up and down early in the season and will look to earn a big win in this one. This game will tip off at around 7:30 PM Eastern time on ESPN.
The Hornets have earned a record of 3-5 so far this season, which has them in twelfth place of the Eastern Conference. Charlotte is coming off a win in their last game, but had lost three in a row going into that one. The Hornets will look to build upon that win with another victory in this one. I expect Charlotte to come out quick in this one as they look for a win.
New Orleans has posted a record of 4-4 throughout the early part of this season, which has them tied for fourth place in the Western Conference. The Pelicans have lost back to back games coming into this one. New Orleans had a tough loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in their last game and will look to turn it around in this one.
These two teams have both put up solid records to open up the new season, but could improve coming into this one. Charlotte came up with a win in their last outing and will look to keep it going in this one. The Pelicans lost by one to the Thunder on Wednesday night and will look to erase that loss with a win in this one. I expect both teams to come out hot, which should lead to a good one.
The Hornets and the Pelicans met up once throughout last season on November 9. Devonte’ Graham finished with 24 points and 10 assists off the bench. Charlotte’s starting lineup combined for 62 points, but it was not enough. Brandon Ingram dropped 25 points and 9 rebounds, while J.J. Redick scored 22 points. New Orleans was able to hold on for a 115-110 win.
Charlotte met up with the Atlanta Hawks on January 6. John Collins scored 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Kevin Huerter scored 19 points off the bench. It was not enough for the Hawks though. Gordon Hayward finished with 44 points and LaMelo Ball scored 16 off the bench. The Hornets were able to finish the night with a 102-94 win.
The Pelicans faced off against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night. Zion Williamson finished with 29 points, while Brandon Ingram scored 24 points and 11 rebounds. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander put up 21 points and 9 assists for the Thunder though. Darius Bazley added 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Mike Muscala had 18 off the bench. Oklahoma City won 111-110 in this one.
These two teams only met up once last season since the season was cut short. The Hornets could not pull off the win at home, but will look to take this one. New Orleans lost a tight one on Wednesday, whereas the Hornets pulled off a big win. Charlotte did a great job slowing down Trae Young in their win and will need to shut down New Orleans in this one.
Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier have helped lead this young Hornets team this season. Hayward has averaged 22 points per game this season, while Rozier is averaging 20.5 points per game. LaMelo Ball has averaged 12 points per game off the bench in his rookie season. P.J. Washington is averaging 11 points and Devonte’ Graham has averaged 10 points per game.
Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson are helping lead this New Orleans team so far. Ingram has averaged 25 points and 7 rebounds per game. Williamson is averaging 21.5 points and 8 rebounds per game. Lonzo Ball has averaged 13.5 points per game, while Eric Bledsoe is averaging 12.5 points per game. Steven Adams has averaged 10 points and 9 rebounds to help round out the lineup.
These two teams have been led by a strong duo to open up the season. Williamson and Ingram have shown signs of being a deadly duo and if they can keep it up, it could continue to propel the Pelicans this season. LaMelo Ball has helped round out the lineup for this Hornets team and if he can continue to start strong, it will help this Charlotte team improve.
Field Goal Shooting
The Hornets have not shot the ball well this season at all. Charlotte has been able to make around 43.4 percent of their shots this season, which is 27th in the NBA this season. The Hornets have also made 35.1 percent of their shots from deep, which is 18th in the league. Charlotte is shooting 48.9 percent from inside the arc, which is 27th in the NBA.
New Orleans is around middle of the league shooting the ball this season. The Pelicans have made 45.2 percent of their shots from the field, which is 17th in the league. New Orleans has also shot 31 percent from behind the arc, which is last in the NBA. The Pelicans have made 53 percent of their shots in close, which is 14th in the league.
These two teams have not shot well from the field this season, but the Pelicans are much better on defense this season. Charlotte has allowed opposing teams to make 46.4 percent of their shots, which is 19th in the league. New Orleans has held their opponents to a 44.2 percent, which is 7th in the NBA. If the Pelicans can set the pace on defense, they should be able to earn a win in this one.
The Pelicans are coming into this game with back to back losses, but I expect New Orleans to bounce back in this one. The Hornets have shown some promise early in this season, but I do not think that Charlotte can keep up with the Pelicans if they start out hot in this one. I like New Orleans to play well on the defensive end to create momentum in this one.
BetOnline has the Pelicans listed as a -6 ½ against the spread in this one. This gives a solid edge to New Orleans on Friday night. I agree with this line as I think the Pelicans can put up a solid record this season. If New Orleans can come out quickly in this one, I think they will have a chance to knock off the Hornets. I am taking the Pelicans as my pick on the night.