New Orleans Pelicans Preview: Eric Bledsoe returns with Clippers

Eric Bledsoe #5 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Eric Bledsoe #5 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Eric Bledsoe and the Clippers are coming to the Smoothie King Center for the first time this season. The New Orleans Pelicans look to get back in the win column as they are on a two-game losing streak.

The homecoming for Eric Bledsoe will be fun to watch as it will not be a warm welcome for him. Bledsoe averaged 15 points on 46 percent shooting and four rebounds in one year with the Pelicans, but was made the scapegoat for their season after it appeared he checked out.

New Orleans Pelicans and  Los Angelas Clippers last games

The Pelicans are coming off of a loss to the Miami Heat on Wednesday. Nickeil Amelxander-Walker had a team-high 24 points. Brandon Ingram had 19 points and five assists. The New Orleans Pelicans were outscored 66-46 in the second half, continuing their streak of getting killed in the second halves of games.

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They need to figure out how to play in the clutch moments because a majority of their games have been decided by less than double digits this season.  Postgame, Josh Hart said:

"“We have to grow up, we’re 2-14. We have to play like we’re desperate to win and right now we’re not doing that.”"

The Clippers, who are also missing their best player, are coming off a loss to Memphis last night and are 9-6 overall, with Paul George playing like an MVP candidate. They are just 2-3 on the road and are on the second game of a back-to-back, so this should be a good time for the Pelicans to steal a win at home.

2021-2022 season

These two teams play a total of three times this season. Two games in New Orleans. Once on Friday and the other on January 13th. The third game is played in Los Angeles on November 29th.


The New Orleans Pelicans have the 34-30 edge against the Clippers in their 64 meetings in franchise history. The Pels are riding on a two-game win streak against LA and their last matchup came on April 26th, 2021. New Orleans won 120-103. Zion Williamson had a game-high 23 points and five assists. The New Orleans Pelicans were able to hold Paul George to only nine points. Terrence Mann had 17 points on 66 percent shooting.

Odds, spread and keys to the game

According to WynnBET, the Pelicans are 3.5 point underdogs at home against the Clippers. The money lines are set at -160 for the Clippers and +140 for New Orleans with over/under at 216, which seems high for a team struggling to score.

For the Pelicans to win they need to play better in the second half.  In the last two losses, New Orleans has been outscored 130-88 combined, which is not a recipe for success.

This Pelicans team is not deep and has been relying on heavy minutes from the starters, which is likely one reason for their late-game collapses.

Both teams are without an All-Star (Williamson and  Kawhi Leonard), so it will be on the others to step up to produce. For the Pelicans, having role players like Herb Jones and Josh Hart play well will equal success.

This certainly is an anticipated matchup as the Clippers are in the middle of the Western Conference and the Pelicans are at the bottom. Pelicans getting the win here will be a huge confidence booster to this team.

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