Too much firepower.
It may sound funny, but that’s what the Pelicans have in this matchup. They have four players (Ryan Anderson, Anthony Davis, Jrue Holliday, and Eric Gordon) averaging at least 16 points at home, producing 1.31 points per shot as a quartet. Their three most three-point dependent players are shooting at least 40.7 percent at home. Where are the Nuggets going to get production like that? Ty Lawson is a great talent, but who else? Wilson Chandler? J.J. Hickson? Exactly.
The scoring is even scarcer (aside from Lawson) on the perimeter than it is on the interior. They’ve got Nate Robinson and Randy Foye accounting for most of those points, two players that lack efficiency (as a tandem they are shooting under 40 percent and average a mere 4.5 assists in 45 minutes). The lone saving grace for the Nuggets would seem to be the fact that New Orleans is often overly aggressive on the defensive end (fifth most free throws surrendered in the league), but Denver ranks 25th in free throw percentage and has three starters that shoot 68 percent or worse from the stripe.
The Nuggets haven’t won a game since they beat these very Pelicans 12 days ago, but is that result repeatable? I say no. Denver dominated the glass (+19 rebounds) while taking advantage of Davis being on the sideline, something that won’t be the case tonight. The second-year player is nothing short of a star, and I believe he not only balances the scale but gives New Orleans the edge on the glass and a great shot at revenge tonight.
Fun Fact: Davis is averaging more blocked shots at home (5.25) than the entire Nuggets roster does on the road (5).