Tonight the New Orleans Pelicans will be squaring off against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. With a win, the Pelicans will have garnered their first postseason berth since 2015.
After an impressive victory over the Golden State Warriors this past Saturday the Pelicans find themselves tasked with yet another challenge; clinching a playoff berth. Though New Orleans has seen its fair share of difficulties and adversity throughout the regular season, it looks as though all their hard work is about to pay off. For the first time in three seasons, NOLA is on the verge of the postseason.
Now, though the Pelicans have played admirably this season, and are a mere win away from participating in playoff Basketball, they cannot let up on the gas peddle. Tonight is a MUST win for New Orleans.
NOLA currently resides in the fifth seed in the Western Conference Standings. Aside from them, there are four teams fighting for postseason positions, three of which are, too, only one win away from clinching. These teams include the San Antonio Spurs (6), OKC Thunder (7), Minnesota Timberwolves (8), and Denver Nuggets (9). Interestingly enough, all five of these franchises play tonight.
While the Clippers have already been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, it does not mean they’ve tapped out on the season. In fact, according to coach Doc Rivers, they’re going to make NOLA earn this victory.
“I think I have to play the guys against New Orleans, honestly. I think we have to really go after that game. I just believe in protecting the league, you know what I’m saying? I just think that’s what we should do and I hope we do that.”
-Doc Rivers in regards to tonight’s game against New Orleans
The Pelicans cannot expect to receive any handouts at this point. If they wish to clinch a playoff berth, they must be ready to fight for it. Tonight should be a good indicator as to where NOLA’s heart truly lies.
Tipoff starts at 10:30 ET on ESPN. Be sure to tune in for what should be an entertaining game!