The New Orleans Pelicans got to work on Monday, with seven players back at the practice facility, and they are there with a purpose.
When the New Orleans Pelicans decided to re-open their practice facility, they also re-opened the debate about whether they can make the playoffs if play does resume.
They’ve made it clear so far that they think they can.
In a recent conference call, David Griffin said he expects the league to make a decision about the season within the next few weeks and that if they do decide to continue, it won’t be just a handful of games.
“I think it will be difficult for the league to have us come back into the facility and get ready for – let’s call it a month to get physically ready, and then play only a week or two weeks of games. So I think unless they’re able to give us a full schedule, they won’t have us come back. I would anticipate that if we come back, there would be enough games for us to do some damage in.”
It sounds as though Griffin is expecting games, at least enough to give the New Orleans Pelicans a chance to earn their way into the playoffs.
The Pelicans are currently tied for the 10th seed, but are just 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the 8th and final seed.
With multiple games left against the Grizzlies, as well as important matchups with the Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs, the Pelicans had a good shot at grabbing that last spot.
According to FiveThirtyEight, the New Orleans Pelicans have a 60 percent chance of making the playoffs.
Of course, a lot can change. The NBA may decide to cut some games, which means that the Pelicans easy schedule could get a lot more difficult. According to Griffin:
“We’re going to have to earn a playoff spot against a schedule that will probably in all likelihood be more difficult than the one we were going to play. We’re certainly going to get meaningful games, and I think we’ll get them against tougher opponents than maybe we had left on the schedule.”
There has been ramped speculation about when and how the league will proceed, with everything from “bubble cities” to a play-in tournament on the table.
The New Orleans Pelicans are clearly ready to get going and feel they still have a chance to get to the playoffs in the 2019-20 season, whenever it is.