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Pelicans/Nuggets & Spurs/Heat Parlay Preview Article

VirginiaCavs

Man Crush on Kyle Guy
NBA Parlay Picks of the Day

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Denver Nuggets
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 9 p.m. ET at Ball Arena in Denver

New Orleans’ Three-Point Shooting

Before I talk about the main thing that New Orleans does well on offense — attack the basket — I want to talk about three-point shooting.

Three-point shooting is important, not because New Orleans should lean on it in order to win games, but because the Pelicans need to shoot well in order to threaten in multiple ways.

When they shoot well, they space the floor by forcing defenders to guard the perimeter closely.

By drawing attention to its three-point shooters, New Orleans creates extra space inside and punishes defenses for selling out to stop Pelican players from doing what they do best, which is attack the basket.

Lately, the Pelicans have consistently posed a threat from behind the arc.

In their last game, for example, they blew out the Clippers partly by converting 15 of 29 three-point attempts. They have converted 40 percent or more of their three-point attempts in each of their last three games.

Pelican Offense vs. Nugget Defense

I like New Orleans’ offense primarily because tonight it will be uniquely able to attack the basket.

The Pelicans lean most heavily on scoring inside. They attempt the most field goals within five feet of the basket.

They like to slash to the basket with Brandon Ingram, who is averaging 25.6 points per game in April.

Zion is a rising star who, with his freakish combo of speed, size, and athleticism, is increasingly likely to accrue over 30 points.

Ingram, Zion, and their teammates will thrive inside against a Nugget defense that allows the highest field goal percentage within five feet of the basket.

Nugget Offense vs. Pelican Defense

When betting on Pelican games, look to go against the Pelicans when they face a team that thrives from behind the arc.

Only one team allows more threes per game than New Orleans. But Denver is not built to take advantage.

Throughout the year, three-point shooting has formed a relatively minor part of the Nugget offense. The Nuggets attempt a below-average number of threes per game.

Denver is particularly less dangerous without injured star Jamal Murray, who was converting 40.8 percent of his three-point attempts before his injury.

Defensively, New Orleans is enjoying a positive stretch, having allowed fewer than 110 points in three consecutive games, and promises to continue this stretch against a Nugget offense that won’t exploit its weaknesses.

San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 8 p.m. ET at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami

Spur Offense vs. Heat Defense

San Antonio wants to score inside at all costs.

The Spurs also need to score inside because they lack quality three-point shooting.

They rank 20th in three-point percentage, which helps explain why they attempt the second-fewest three-pointers per game.

Like any team, they have scorers that they like to rely on. But these guys do not like to shoot from deep.

DeMar DeRozan, for example, easily leads the team in points per game, but barely converts 25 percent of his three-point attempts.

This desire to attempt field goals inside the arc will cost the Spurs against a Heat defense that excels at limiting field goal attempts inside the arc.

Within five feet of the basket, in the mid-range game, and otherwise inside the arc, the Heat rank among league leaders in limiting opposing field goal attempts.

Instead, they force teams to attempt more threes. They allow the second-most threes per game. So they will force the Spurs to try to score the most in the way that the Spurs are least willing.

Moreover, the Spurs are relatively reliant on running ball-screen actions for the ball-handler.

However, the Heat have accumulated a high number of quality on-ball defenders who are comfortable switching on ball-screens along the perimeter.

Bam Adebayo, for example, is a superb shot-blocker but not because he hangs around the rim.

He, too, is comfortable switching along the perimeter. His athleticism and versatility allows him to rank 10th in the Miami Heat franchise in blocks per game.

This versatility in Heat on-ball defenders explains all the switching you’ll see on ball-screens, which simplifies their endeavor to defend ball-screens because the original on-ball defender doesn’t have to worry about recovering back to his man after he’s been screened.

Miami Offense vs. Spur Defense

Unlike the Spurs, Miami wants to attempt threes. The Heat love employing off-ball screens or otherwise creating catch-and-shoot opportunities for guys like Duncan Robinson.

Heat players who are much more likely to create their own shot — Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn in particular — did not play in Miami’s last game on Monday and are both listed as ‘questionable’ for tonight’s game.

Whether they play or not, they will struggle against a Spur defense that ranks top-10 in running opponents off the three-point line.

The Spurs like to force teams to score inside, where their superb rim protection permits them to allow the lowest field goal percentage within five feet of the basket.

Parlay Verdict

New Orleans will outpace Denver primarily by thriving inside against Denver’s feeble rim protection.

San Antonio and Miami will be deadlocked in a defensive duel.

I want to add that, since Miami and San Antonio seem even to me, there is every reason to take the points.

The Spurs are clearly not bothered by playing on the road. Their road ATS record is 20-8 and they are regular cover machines on the road, going 7-1 ATS in their last eight road games.

Best Bet: Pelicans +4 at -108, Spurs +5 at -108, Spurs/Heat Under 209 at -108 at +614 odds with Heritage
 

twinkie13

Principal at Newman
That 3 helped. Not sure if you watched but about 23 other teams close that out, meaning the Pels. Nuggz tried to give that away. That goes to OT I think Pels win OTR. Zion got fouled bad on last play.

Game was over and Jr jacked a 3 when Pels were all but done. Then Nugs went full Pels with lazy passes etc. it was quite a site
 
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