New Orleans Pelicans’ Schedule and Predictions: The Must-Wins
If the New Orleans Pelicans are going to make the playoffs, there are a handful of games that they absolutely must win.
In a sense, all of the games fall under this category since there are only eight, but the Pels cannot give away games to lesser teams that they should be able to handle or to the teams they are directly battling.
Game 3: Memphis Grizzlies
The Pelicans are 2-0 against the Grizzlies this year and will likely have to beat them at least three more times to make the playoffs. The Pels must stay within four games of Memphis, so can’t lose any ground.
There was some hope that the Pels would get two shots at the Grizzlies in Orlando, but with just one game to potentially make up ground, the Pelicans cannot lose this one.
Game 4: Sacramento Kings
The Kings seem to be the forgotten team, as most people are asking if the Pelicans or Trail Blazers can catch the Grizzlies and never mention that the Kings are tied and have just as good a chance.
The Pelicans beat the Kings in their only meeting this year and were set to play them the night the league was suspended. The Pelicans will play Sacramento twice, so they don’t have to win both, but they absolutely must win at least one to have a chance.
The Kings were playing well before the break, winning seven of ten, so they cannot be taken lightly. Obviously the Pelicans would like to win both, but they must win at least one.
Game 5: Washington Wizards
The Wizards are easily the worst team invited to Orlando, so the Pelicans cannot lose focus and drop this one. The Wiz will be without John Wall who is still injured, and Davis Bertans, who decided to sit out to avoid injury before his free agency this summer.
The Wizards are not a playoff team and probably wouldn’t be here if not for the NBA trying to appear “balanced.” But that doesn’t mean they can’t beat anyone on a given night, so this will be a test for the young Pelicans.
The Pels are more talented, but if they take a night off or look past the Wizards, it will cost them.