Why the Pelicans should be thanking the Warriors this morning

Apr 2, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5) breaks up a pass
Apr 2, 2024; Sacramento, California, USA; Sacramento Kings guard De'Aaron Fox (5) breaks up a pass / Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Last night was a punch in the gut to anyone rooting for the Pelicans success. Team members, front office executives, passionate fans in the stands, and millions watching at home were riveted by Zion Williamson stamping his superstar status with a legendary playoff moment, just for it to go up in smoke when he tweaked his hamstring.

New Orleans fell 110-106 to the Los Angeles Lakers last night, setting up a do-or-die home game on Friday night. Thankfully, the bracket fell perfectly for a Pelicans squad licking their wounds.

The Pelicans will be taking on the Sacramento Kings at 9:30 P.M. Eastern time on Friday night. Recently, Bleacher report penned an article titled "Nightmare Matchups for Projected 2024 NBA Playoff Teams," and the Sacramento Kings nightmare matchup is none other than the New Orleans Pelicans. Here's what B/R had to say about the Kings vs. Pelicans matchup.

"The Kings simply could not figure out the Pelicans this season, as New Orleans put up a hefty 126.5 points per game in their four meetings.

The Pelicans' Big 3 of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum averaged a combined 68.6 points on 59.6 percent shooting overall. With no true rim protector on Sacramento's roster, New Orleans feasted overall."

Greg Swartz, B/R

New Orleans will definitely have an advantage in the paint against Sacramento, but Zion's ailing hamstring looms large. If the big fella is unable to suit up in Friday's win-or-go-home tilt against the Kings, the Pelicans chances to advance to round one of the playoff are slim.

Sacramento plays a free-flowing, 2010's Warriors-adjacent syle of ball that is aesthetically pleasing and deadly efficient. The Pelicans dropped Tuesday's game against the Lakers because Williamson's counterparts in the Pelicans "Big Three", CJ McCollum (30 minutes, 9 points, 6 assists, 3 rebounds, 4/15 shooting, 1/9 from three), and Brandon Ingram (25 minutes, 11 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 4-12 shooting) failed to show up.

Friday night is all hands on deck at The Blender for the Pelicans, and they'll be thankful to be matching up against a Kings squad they know they can handle. New Orleans is 4-0 against Sacramento this season, and they'll need to run that tally up to 5-0 to face Oklahoma City in a secen game series starting on Sunday afternoon.