The Miami Heat and New Orleans Pelicans are both quite banged up with key injuries on each side. As a result, the Heat find themselves as a 1.5-point favorite on the NBA betting lines in this spot.
The Miami Heat Can Win Because…
Their opponent is missing two players, one of them being a superstar. Anthony Davis will not play in this game which is something you shouldn't overlook when checking out the NBA odds. The man who is the heart of the New Orleans franchise suffered an injury this past Saturday, February 21, and he’s going to miss at least one week if not two. Scoring, rebounding, shot blocking, rim protecting – Davis performed so many roles for the Pelicans and filled so many holes. He covers up so many weaknesses for this team that it’s hard to put his value in perfect perspective. When a guy averaging 23.9 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 2.7 blocked shots per game leaves, that’s a huge hit to productivity.
Anderson, who is out for two to four weeks – also for an injury suffered on Feb. 21 – is no slouch. He had been averaging 14.6 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. His absence, combined with Davis’ absence, leaves New Orleans noticeably shorthanded for this game against the Heat, who now have Goran Dragic. While Miami is not a complete team, the addition of Dragic – who averages almost 17 points per game and is a lethally talented offensive player at the point guard spot – makes the Heat a much more potent team. Point guard has been a big hole for Miami, and now that hole has been closed. It’s a huge move for Miami, which can score more easily than before.
The New Orleans Pelicans Can Win Because…
The first thing they did after losing both Davis and Anderson to injuries was… to beat the Heat in Miami. Davis and Anderson got injured during a road game in Miami, leaving the contest in the first half. New Orleans calmly proceeded to drill the Heat in the second half. That was a very impressive statement by the Pelicans, who took advantage of the fact that Chris Bosh will be out for the rest of the season with the blood clot issue mentioned above in the introduction. Bosh had been averaging 21.1 points and seven rebounds per game. That’s a big enough setback for Miami, but the other thing about Bosh is his versatility as a defender. He can play in the post, he can play 10 to 15 feet away from the basket, and he can challenge opposing offensive players with his length. Bosh is also a credible three-point shooter, which means he can space the floor for Miami. With Dragic, Bosh could have been amazing. Since Bosh isn’t around, Miami is still limited in many ways, just not at the point guard position. New Orleans capitalized on Bosh’s absence once. It can do so again.
The Pelicans know how they can play without Davis and Anderson. Their ability to win without both players against the Bosh-less Heat in Miami suggests that they can do the same thing again. Take the Pelicans here with your NBA picks here.
NBA Pick: New Orleans at The Greek