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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Sunday, March 3, 2024

The Coin Toss: Time to "boogie" in New Orleans

Welcome to The Coin Toss, where I make some bold, unlikely predictions about your favorite professional sports.

Last week, I predicted two of four All-Star event winners correctly. I learned not to doubt "Porzingod" as the 7-foot-3-inch Porzingis won the skills challenge over my pick of Isaiah Thomas. Perhaps my best pick of the week was Eric Gordon, who won the three-point contest. Aaron Gordon, my (and basically everyone's) pick to win the dunk contest, seriously underperformed, and Glenn Robinson III went on to win. The West came out on top, as I predicted, in an All-Star Game seriously lacking in defense. Overall, I was two-for-four on my All-Star predictions.

NBA action returns this Thursday, Feb. 23, so let's get to some picks for this week...

Pelicans win in Cousins' first game with new team

The trade of DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans shocked the sports world. In the team's first game together, the new-look Pelicans will be looking to establish themselves as a legitimate contender. They'll be doing it against James Harden and the Rockets, who have the clear advantage. The Rockets average more points, rebounds and assists per game than the Pelicans. Additionally, MVP candidate Harden has been an absolute monster this season, carrying his team to victory night after night. Despite being the underdog in this game, I think the Pelicans will prevail. Cousins, who is averaging 25-plus points and 11 boards this season, will give them a boost all over the floor. The new frontcourt combo of Boogie and Anthony Davis will propel New Orleans to an upset win over Houston.

Kristaps Porzingis puts up 30 points against Cavaliers 

Porzingis is coming off an All-Star Weekend to remember, so you know he'll be pumped for this game against Cleveland. I won't say that the Knicks can beat the Cavs; they probably can't. However, I do think KP will have a big night. In the absence of Kevin Love, Cleveland won't have anyone to man up with Porzingis consistently, as LeBron James will have to focus his attention on Carmelo Anthony. "The Unicorn" has scored 30 or more points three times this season. Those games were against the Pistons, Trail Blazers and Suns. The pattern here is that those teams don't have a reliable defender at the power forward position. Porzingis took advantage of that, just as he will tomorrow night against the Cavaliers.

Warriors score 140 in blowout of Nets

This is an unlikely pick that was made for obvious reasons. One could argue that this matchup is between the worst team in the NBA and one one of the best. Statistically, it is a matchup of the NBA's top scoring offense of Golden State (118.2 PPG) versus the NBA's worst defense (Brooklyn's) in terms of points allowed (114.2 per game). However, the Warriors have only scored 140+ three times this year. Additionally, they only scored 117 in their first game against the Nets. However, if there's a time to have a scoring outburst, it's in a game against the league's worst defense, at home, coming out of All-Star Weekend. The pick is in: The Warriors will walk all over the Nets and score 140+.