Game On: Pelicans vs. Lakers

Published: January 21, 2015

The New Orleans Pelicans return home to face the Lakers tonight on the heels of an extremely disappointing road trip, as they dropped games against the cellar-dwelling Celtics, 76ers, and New York Knicks.  But tonight offers another chance to take advantage of an easy matchup; the question, quite obviously, is whether the Pelicans can take care of business against the Lakers, who have no business being in the game with the Pelicans, much less beating them.

The Lakers feature a slightly below average offense and a horrid defense.  At the risk of shortchanging fans a complicated game plan, I will offer up these “keys” to the game:

  1. Don’t come out flat. For whatever reason, the Pelicans play like they can steamroll bad opponents without exerting effort until it’s truly necessary. This is a characteristic of some great teams who have been deep in the playoffs and know they can coast during the regular season. The Pelicans are not one of those teams.
  2. Move the ball. The Lakers aren’t going to stop you if you make them think. You don’t take advantage of bad defenses by trotting around screens and going iso after you have to reset. Make a bad defense rotate with penetration, kick outs, ball swings, etc., and watch them fall apart.

2 keys are all you need when your team is playing the Lakers. No caveats– at home, Davis may be back (pending updates), and you are far more talented than the opponent.

I expect a win. And it’s a shame that I can’t guarantee one.

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