The Los Angeles Clippers will host the New Orleans Pelicans for a win-or-go-home play-in game on Friday, April 15. The Pelicans beat the San Antonio Spurs 113-103 on Wednesday to advance in the play-in tournament.
The Clippers handily beat the Pelicans 119-100 earlier this month, but there are reasons to be weary of New Orleans, the first of which has to do with momentum. Unlike the Clippers, the Pelicans will go into Friday’s game with a win fresh in their memory. The Clippers narrowly lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves 109-104 on Tuesday.
It’s not just that the Clippers lost, though; it’s that by the end of Tuesday’s game, they looked absolutely gassed. Meanwhile, the Pelicans were in control for pretty much all of Wednesday night’s contest. Granted, the level of competition was different, but from a morale standpoint, the Pelicans have the edge.
Still, the Clippers went into the play-in tournament as the No. 8 seed for a reason: they have a defense that’s ranked top-10 in the NBA and a superstar talent in Paul George. If they clean up some of the mistakes they made on Tuesday night and make the necessary adjustments to their rotation, starting with Marcus Morris’s minutes at center, then they should be able to contain the Pelicans and their skilled isolation scorers.
The Clippers and Pelicans will tip-off at 7 p.m. PT on Friday and the game will be nationally broadcast on TNT.