The NBA regular season is entering its final stages and we’re about to enter the postseason window. This is a crucial window where a win or a loss can mean a lot. Therefore, each game becomes more and more important for teams competing for different places. This is true when the Los Angeles Clippers meet the New Orleans Pelicans.
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Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers come into play after defeating the Thunder 127-105 and Kawhi Leonard scoring 32 points. The Clippers avenged a point loss by winning six of their last eight games. The season hasn’t been exactly rosy for the team, which keeps losing its footing at crucial moments. However, the current run has strengthened their claim to a place in the top six and they have accumulated 39 wins and 35 losses.
The team lacked offensive support around Leonard and George, both of whom played their part. Norman Powell’s injury has complicated things while the point guard position hasn’t given way as much. The Clippers will play their next four of eight games at home. The Clippers appear poised to finish in the top six and it will be interesting to see how they fare in the playoffs.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans come into this game after defeating the Hornets 115-96 after Brandon Ingram had 30 points and 10 assists. The team benefited from the leanest opponent window for any team, defeating three bottom feeders to push their way back into play-in contention. They had a miserable second half of the season and after a stellar start they were derailed by Zion Williamson’s injury.
However, there is hope that if they make it, something will happen at least during the play-in tournament. Brandon Ingram has been working his way up from injury but he will need great support from CJ McCollum. The team doesn’t have a point guard who can act as a feeder, so they play CJ and Brandon as the primary ball handlers. Their defense was decent but this team will need Zion to be more active.
- Clippers: AUS: Brandon Boston Jr., Paul George, Norman Powell;
- Pelicans: OUT: Jose Alvarado, Zion Williamson, EJ Lidell. Game decision: Trey Murphy III.
Player Prop Predictions
- Expected Scorers: Kawhi Leonard (28+ points), Brandon Ingram (25-31 points);
- Expected leading rebounders: Jonas Valanciunas (14-19 rebounds), Ivica Zubac (9-11 rebounds);
- Expected leading playmakers: Russell Westbrook (8-10 assists), Brandon Ingram (7-9 assists).
Expert Betting Tips
The Clippers will be assessing their chances in this game considering they are playing at home, but would have liked Paul George to be available. The Pels play a lot better when Ingram is ringing the scoring column and their defense has been decent. However, the Clippers are not opponents like the Hornets, Rockets and Spurs. They have a lot more experience and I expect Kawhi to get a win here. I’m predicting a score of 115-108 in favor of the Clippers.