The New Orleans Pelicans and LA Lakers will have their third of four head-to-head battles this season on Friday. New Orleans tied the series by battering LA 129-109 on Dec. 31. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram, who combined for 52 points in the said win, are expected to lead the Pelicans again in their next encounter.
The Lakers will be at home but they will be playing the second night of a back-to-back set. LeBron James and Anthony Davis will be questionable heading into the game. LA will be at a significant disadvantage if the two superstars are unable to play.
Williamson is also questionable but he said after the Pelicans’ 117-106 win over the Clippers on Wednesday that he expects to play versus the Lakers. New Orleans, though, may be without Jonas Valanciunas who is dealing with a right calf contusion.
New Orleans Pelicans vs LA Lakers: Preview, prediction and betting tips
The Lakers will host the Pelicans at Crypto.com Arena on Friday at 10:30 p.m. ET. NBA TV will make the game available on national TV while Spectrum Sportsnet and WVUE will locally cover the same. SiriusXM, ESPN LA 710/1330 KWKW and WRNO 99.5 FM are the radio stations that will air the game.
Moneyline: Pelicans (-110) vs. Lakers (-110)
Spread: Pelicans (-1.0) vs. Lakers (+1.0)
Total (O/U): Pelicans (o235.5 -110) vs. Lakers (u235.5 -110)
New Orleans Pelicans vs LA Lakers: Game preview
The Pelicans opened a four-game road trip with an impressive win over the Clippers on Wednesday. Zion Williamson shrugged off a slow start where he had only two points in the first half to lead his team to victory. “Zanos” can’t afford another slow start against the Lakers and try to scramble late in the game.
Whether LeBron James and Anthony Davis are available or not, the Pelicans have to do much better right after tip-off. Williamson has to sustain the aggressiveness he showed against the Clippers in the matchup against the Lakers.
Much of what LA will do on Friday will depend on James and Davis’ availability. If both are out, the Lakers have proven they can win against an elite team. They did it against the Boston Celtics on Jan. 29 and might have to do it versus New Orleans. Austin Reaves and D’Angelo Russell, if he’s cleared to play, will have bigger roles to play if “King James” and AD are ruled out.
New Orleans Pelicans vs LA Lakers: Starting lineups
Jonas Valanciunas and Zion Williamson get automatic slots in the starting five if they’re cleared to play. If not, Cody Zeller and Larry Nance Jr. could respectively take over their places. Brandon Ingram, Herb Jones and CJ McCollum are joining the starting unit as well.
The Lakers will have LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the starting lineup if cleared to play. Jaxson Hayes or Christian Wood gets the nod if AD is unavailable while Taurean Prince could replace James. Max Christie could also be inserted if D’Angelo Russell remains out.
Austin Reaves and Rui Hachimura are Darvin Ham’s only sure starters for the matchup against the Pelicans.
New Orleans Pelicans vs LA Lakers: Betting tips
As of this writing, there are no player props yet for the Pelicans-Lakers game.
New Orleans Pelicans vs LA Lakers: Prediction
The LA Lakers have too many injury concerns to worry about, particularly since they are playing the backend of two consecutive games. Jarred Vanderbilt isn’t available while D’Angelo Russell could remain out due to an unspecified foot injury.
The Lakers might opt to sit one or even both of LeBron James and Anthony Davis as they have been extremely careful with them.
The New Orleans Pelicans could make it back-to-back wins against the Lakers when they meet again on Friday.