The NBA's most disappointing team by far has been the New Orleans Pelicans as they bring a 1-9 record and three-game losing streak. Can they be our NBA pick for tonight?
Nuggets Missing Some Guys
Denver was supposed to be one of the worst teams in the Western Conference but is off to a 5-5 start. Pretty impressive considering the team traded its best player, point guard Ty Lawson, for pennies on the dollar to Houston this offseason. Swingman Wilson Chandler hasn't played at all this season and won't because of a hip problem. Chandler played 78 games last season, averaging 13.9 points and 6.1 rebounds, his first largely injury-free season in years, and signed a contract extension worth $46.5 million in July. Chandler hurt the hip in training camp, a labral tear, but was hoping that rest, rehabilitation and an anti-inflammatory injection would allow him to play at some point. But that wasn't the case and he had hip surgery on Monday.
The Nuggets had a season-high three-game winning streak -- all coming at home -- end in a 105-81 loss in Phoenix on Saturday in the second of a back-to-back. Denver looked tired with just 28 points at halftime. The Nuggets were 11-of-50 from the field in the first half and 2-of-20 from 3-point range. The team shot 34.7 percent from the field overall and was 6-for-35 from 3-point range. Rookie Emmanuel Mudiay was the only Denver starter in double-digit points with 13. Danilo Gallinari was 2-for-12 and a had a game-worst rating of minus-28. Phoenix's Eric Bledsoe had 30 points through three quarters while Denver's five starters had 26 combined.
Nuggets power forward Kenneth Faried didn't play in the second half against Phoenix due to back spasms and is questionable for this game. Also questionable is forward/center Darrell Arthur because of an illness. Ruled out is center Joffrey Lauvergne because of a back problem. He has missed the past seven games.
Denver is 5-5 against the spread on NBA odds and 4-6 'over/under.'
Pelicans Are Terrible Defensively
Injuries have certainly played a major role in the Pelicans' disastrous start to the season -- Tyreke Evans has yet to play and point guard Jrue Holiday is on a minutes limit and doesn't play both ends of a back-to-back; through 10 games, New Orleans has sent out nine different starting lineups -- -- but certainly some blame has to go to new head coach Alvin Gentry. New Orleans ranks dead last in the NBA in defensive efficiency in allowing 108.9 points per 100 possessions. In just the second half of games, that mark is a ghastly 114.9 points per possession. For a point of comparison, the league leaders in points per possession are San Antonio and Miami at 93.5. New Orleans opponents are averaging 49.4 points per game in the paint, the second-highest total for opponents in the NBA.
New Orleans concluded a three-game road trip on Sunday with a 95-87 loss at the New York Knicks. New York outscored the Pelicans 19-0 on second-chance points. The Knicks also had 19 offensive rebounds to the Pelicans' four. For the first time this season, a Pelican opponent was held to under 100 points. New Orleans star Anthony Davis had 36 points and 11 rebounds. He had missed the previous two games with a bruised right hip. Kendrick Perkins (right pectoral), Quincy Pondexter (left knee), Evans (right knee) and Norris Cole (sprained left ankle) all sat out with injuries. None will play Tuesday.
The Pelicans are 2-8 ATS on NBA picks and 3-7 O/U.
Denver won the series 3-1 -- the Pelicans' one victory was on the road. Gallinari averaged 16.5 points. Faried averaged 14.0 points and 7.8 rebounds. In three games against Denver, Davis averaged 26.0 points on .517 shooting, 11.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 4.3 blocks. Eric Gordon averaged 14.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists. New Orleans is one of only two NBA franchises to have never had a player score 40+ points against the Nuggets (Indiana the other). Denver is 11-9 since 2004-05 when playing on the road against the Pelicans franchise.
Take the Pelicans, go 'over.' The home team is 10-3 ATS in the past 13 meetings. The 'over' is 5-2 in the Pelicans' past seven at home. The 'over' is 6-2 in Denver's past eight after a loss.
NBA Picks: Pelicans -6 & Over 207 at Bet365