Pelicans Can’t Afford Mistakes
The Pelicans made their path to the playoffs harder when they lost to the Utah Jazz in their first game. The loss was especially painful for the team because they controlled the first half of the game but couldn’t hang on to the lead in the second half. They will try to bounce back with a win over the Clippers on Saturday.
New Orleans is one of the best offensive teams in the league. The team is averaging 116 points per game, which is fourth in the league.
Brandon Ingram has done a great job for the Pelicans this season and leads the team in scoring, averaging 24.2 points per game on 46 percent shooting from the field. Zion Williamson has also played well for the Pelicans and is averaging 23.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. However, considering the fact he missed some time for leaving the bubble for “personal reasons”, he played in just 15 minutes in the first game.
The Pelicans haven’t done as well on the defensive end, giving up 116.8 points per game, which is 27th in the league. They gave up 106 points in their last game and will need a similar performance to get past the Clips.
Clippers Trying To Stay Hot
The Clippers were on a roll when the regular season was suspended and had won seven of their last eight games. They suffered a setback at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers in their first game since the restart and will try to bounce back with a win on Friday.
Los Angeles is a very good offensive team, averaging 116 points per game, which is fifth in the league. They struggled against the Lakers, scoring 101 points in the loss but they were also without their best bench players in Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell.
With both players not expected to play on Saturday, the Clippers will be relying on Kawhi Leonard, who is averaging 26.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, and Paul George, who is averaging 21.2 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, to put up big numbers against the Pelicans.
Los Angeles is also one of the better defensive teams in the league, giving up 109.6 points per game, which is 12th in the league. They have struggled defensively against the Pelicans, giving up 122 points per game, and will need to play better than they did in their first three meetings if they want to win the game.