What Will Pelicans’ DeMarcus Cousins Do for Encore vs. Hornets?

demarcus cousins

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 5:23 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018 5:23 PM GMT

New Orleans big man DeMarcus Cousins had one of the best individual games in NBA history on Monday. What will he have left in the tank Wednesday in Charlotte?

New Orleans Pelicans at Charlotte HornetsFree NBA Pick: HornetsBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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It’s a 7 p.m. ET tipoff on Wednesday night as the former Charlotte franchise visits the current one. It’s the first meeting of the season between the two.

Of course, the Pelicans were originally located in Charlotte but moved to New Orleans for the 2002-03 season. Charlotte got another NBA franchise for the 2004-05 season that was originally nicknamed the Bobcats. When the New Orleans Hornets changed their name to Pelicans for the 2013-14 season, the Bobcats jumped on the chance to become Hornets again starting in 2014-15. Got all that?

These franchisees also are linked via the 2012 NBA Draft. The 2011-12 Bobcats finished with the worst record in NBA history at 7-59 and obviously had the best chance of winning the 2012 draft lottery. New Orleans had the league’s third-worst record that season at 21-45 but won the lottery and the chance to take generational talent Anthony Davis at No. 1 overall. The Charlotte franchise was stuck with Davis’ Kentucky teammate Michael Kidd-Gilchrist at No. 2 and frankly still hasn’t recovered from that.

New Orleans was 2-0 vs. Charlotte last year. Davis averaged 42.0 points, 18.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 blocks in those. Kemba Walker led the Hornets in averaging 24.5 points, 8.5 assists and 7.5 rebounds per game vs. the Pelicans. The home team has covered seven of the past 10 in this series.

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‘Boogie’ Goes Ballistic!

There was an historic game from Pelicans big man DeMarcus Cousins on Monday in New Orleans’ wild 132-128 double-overtime victory over visiting Chicago. “Boogie” had 44 points, 24 rebounds and 10 assists, just the 10th 40-point, 20-rebound, 10-assist game in NBA history and first since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1972. The other such games came from Wilt Chamberlain (six), Elgin Baylor and Oscar Robertson – pretty impressive group of players. Just for a point of comparison, there have been 23 perfect games thrown in Major League Baseball history.

Cousins, a potential free agent next summer, was 13-for-29 from the field, 5-for-11 from deep and 13-for-14 from the free-throw line. He added four steals and a block. Cousins also played a career-high 52 minutes, so I’m thinking he will be totally out of gas here. Ditto Anthony Davis (43 minutes) and Jrue Holiday (43). The Pelicans (25-21 SU, 23-22-1 ATS) were down 17 points with about five minutes to go in regulation but staged a miracle comeback to force OT – only after Chicago’s Justin Holiday missed a third free throw with no time remaining. A game like that is going to take the Pelicans some time to recover from, so that’s why I’ll be taking the Hornets here.

Charlotte (19-26 SU, 19-23-3 ATS) won for the third time in four games Monday, 112-107 over the visiting Kings. Point guard Kemba Walker, now the subject of trade rumors as the Hornets are willing to package their All-Star to get rid of a bad contract, had 26 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Owner Michael Jordan said Monday that “I would not trade him for anything but an All-Star player."

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SIX BLOCKS TONIGHT.@DwightHoward tied his season-high for blocks during tonight's victory over the Kings 💪 #NBA #BuzzCity pic.twitter.com/iVjMaWL5hd

— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) January 23, 2018
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Dwight Howard added 14 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks. It was the fifth straight game Howard had at least 10 points and 15 rebounds, the longest such streak in the NBA this season, longest in Hornets franchise history and longest for Howard since he had a five in a row for the Lakers in March 2013. The Hornets expect Michael Kidd-Gilchrist back in the lineup Wednesday after he sat Monday because of an abscess in his first arm. MKG is one of the NBA’s better defensive players and probably deals with Davis.

The Pelicans are the better team, but as noted above they’re likely to be running on fumes – especially Cousins – following that amazing game Monday. New Orleans is also just 2-5 ATS in its past seven after a win. Take Charlotte on your Wednesday NBA pick.

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