The brutally fierce storm coating the Northeast right now may actually deliver an advantage to the New Orleans Pelicans (14-16) as they prepare to take on the Boston Celtics (13-19) in TD Bank Garden Friday night.
The Pelicans had to leave Minnesota early to make it to Boston before the airport closed Thursday, but all the team lost was some extra time to practice, review film and rest. The Celtics, however, were trapped overnight Thursday in Chicago after losing 94-82 to the Bulls. The Celtics couldn’t attempt to return to Boston until Friday late morning/early afternoon, hours before tip off with the Pelicans.
Boston’s offense struggles already on the second game of a back-to-back. The Celtics score the third fewest points in the league when they don’t have a rest day: 90.8.
Meanwhile, the Pelicans are averaging 110 points per game this season against Eastern Conference Opponents.
New Orleans has defeated the Celtics five out of the last six times the two teams have faced off. New Orleans has held the Celtics to fewer than 90 points in each of those games.
The Pelicans are now showcasing one of the NBA’s most balanced teams this season, with four players each averaging 15.0 or more points per game.
Ryan Anderson (20.1)
Anthony Davis (19.2)
Jrue Holiday (15.4)
Eric Gordon (15.3)
Only one other time in franchise history have four Pelicans all averaged 15.0+ points per game, among players that played in at least 70% of the team’s games.
Larry Johnson (22.1)
Alonzo Mourning (21.0)
Kendall Gill (16.9)
Dell Curry (15.3)
The Celtics have only Jeff Green averaging more than 15 points per game. Since 1950-51, only twice have the Celtics had a lower average by their points per game leader.