The Los Angeles Lakers and New Orleans Pelicans are scheduled to meet at the Smoothie King Center for a Sunday night meeting. On Wednesday, the Lakers are coming off a 126-121 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
They’ve lost five of their previous seven outings, and the same issues persist as earlier in the season. The Lakers don’t get back defensively, and when they set up their defense, often they lose their assignments.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) March 24, 2022
This problem is larger than Russell Westbrook in Los Angeles. He hasn’t been good with his turnovers and nonchalant attitude, but they’ll have to look deeper than Westbrook to fix the Lakers’ defense.
Westbrook just hasn’t been a good fit on this roster with LeBron James. Throwing money at star players instead of looking for better chemistry hasn’t been a good approach. Anthony Davis is not playing, but the Lakers didn’t look right this year even when he was.
In any case, the Lakers are 31-42, which is good enough for ninth in the Western Conference. That’s also good enough for the play-in tournament.
I’m not for a team 11 games below .500 having a chance to play postseason basketball, but the Lakers still have life. There is little confidence in them figuring out their defensive woes, though.
In a losing effort yesterday, the Pelicans are on the heels of a 107-103 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. They had secured a 126-109 win in an impressive showing a couple of days earlier for their third win in four outings.
— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) March 26, 2022
New Orleans is in tight with the Lakers for the ninth seed in the West. They are 31-43 and a half-game behind the Lakers. I’d rather see an up-and-coming team like the Pelicans in than the Lakers.
Head below for our free Lakers vs. Pelicans prediction on March 27, 2022.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans Pelicans Betting Odds and Team Statistics:
The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
|LA Lakers||+4 (-110)||+150||Over 229.5 (-110)|
|New Orleans Pelicans||-4 (-110)||-170||Under 229.5 (-110)|
|Team Data||LA Lakers||New Orleans Pelicans|
|Points Per Game||111.6||108.7|
|Points Against Per Game||114.3||109.8|
|Field Goal %||46.8||45.5|
|Three Point %||35.0||33.3|
Lakers vs. Pelicans Prediction:
It’s been the same story with the Lakers since the beginning of the season. Nothing much has changed regarding their defensive form. They are still getting beat and getting caught out of position too often.
The Lakers are eighth in the NBA with a 46.8% field goal percentage. They’ve scored 111.6 points per game, which should be strong enough offensive output for the Lakers to at least be around .500 at this point in the season.
Instead, the defense has continued to be leaky with 114.3 points against per game this season for 26th in the league. LeBron James can score all the points he wants, but it’s meaningless for the team when the Lakers are giving it all back on the other end of the floor.
James was not present for the Lakers’ 126-121 loss versus the 76ers on Wednesday. The defense only hurts more when he isn’t playing. This is essentially Russell Westbrook running around doing as he pleases without James.
Questionable with a knee injury, he may not be ready to play on Sunday. The Lakers gave up 120 points to a mediocre Cleveland offense a couple of days earlier with LeBron on the floor, so he hasn’t made the biggest impact.
Note that the Lakers have allowed more than 120 points in five straight attempts going into New Orleans for this one. They’ve conceded 124 points a game and a 50.1% field goal percentage during that time.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. New Orleans Pelicans Betting Trends:
- 3-7 ATS in their previous ten games as an underdog on the road
- 1-4 ATS in their previous five games
- OVER is 5-1 in their previous six games on the road
- OVER is 8-2 in their previous ten games as an underdog on the road
- OVER is 6-2 in their previous eight games after a loss
- 4-1 ATS in their previous five games
- 8-3-1 ATS in their previous 12 games as a betting favorite
- 2-6 ATS in their previous eight games on a back-to-back
- OVER is 4-1 in their previous five games at home
- OVER is 5-1 in their previous six games versus a team with a losing record
New Orleans should get through this one with plenty of points. In their last attempt against the Lakers, the Pelicans poured it on for 123 points in a 123-95 win a month back.
The Lakers’ defense definitely hasn’t gotten any better. At least they’ve been scoring at an efficient rate. The Lakers scored 120.6 points a game in their last five attempts and a 50.3% field goal percentage.
The total looks a few points too short between the Lakers and Pelicans. I’m going to side with the OVER in a 120-114 final score in New Orleans.