Ranking the Pelicans potential playoff threats

Mar 26, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) reacts
Mar 26, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) reacts / Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports
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Following Tuesday's crushing loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the New Orleans Pelicans sit in the Western Conference's fifth seed. One game separates the team from the Clippers ahead, two games separate them from falling into the eighth seed. Ten regular season games left for the Pelicans, and everything is on the table for the young, talented, and hungry squad.

Let's take a look and rank the Pelicans potential playoff matchups from best to worst.

1. Los Angeles Clippers

In an ideal world, New Orleans would earn the fourth seed in the West and host the Los Angeles Clippers in a playoff series. The Pelcians have won three out of four against the Clippers this season, and dating back to 2020-21 New Orleans has won 11 of 14 games against Los Angeles' B-List franchise.

The common denominator in Pelicans wins versus the Clippers this season is Zion Williamson. The big fella has dropped 30 on Los Angeles twice this season, and has another game with a points and assists double double. The Clippers bread is buttered on the wings and in the backcourt (a foursome of Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard is terrifying come playoff time), but they have no answers in the front court for Williamson. In New Orleans' one loss to Los Angeles this season, Zion was limited to one of his worst games of the season. 12 points and six rebounds on a clunky 33% from the field.

This ideal scenario would see the Pelicans boast home court advantage in the first round and the high-flying Pels would have "The Blender" rocking from the jump. The Clippers are a scary matchup for any team with their veteran experience, but the Pelicans would have no fears staring this boogeyman right in the face to take down the more seasoned squad.