The New Orleans Pelicans have gradually managed to straighten their path during the last stage of the current season. However, with a handful of games left, the Pelicans are still in position for the play-In tournament to pull a last-minute ticket to the playoffs. Although they have managed to get two consecutive wins, the Pelicans must remain on the watch for teams that are close and that might snatch away their eighth spot in the Western Conference.
The Pelicans head to southern California to face the Los Angeles Lakers at Crypto.com Arena tonight. The Pelicans might be on the spot with a sudden urgency to keep pulling in wins. Yet, the Lakers are now at a significant disadvantage.
With just a few games left in the current season, the Lakers are eleventh in the Western Conference and outside the play-in tournament qualifying position. Now tied with the San Antonio Spurs with 31 wins each, LA is aware that the only way to remain in the race for the championship is to win all of their remaining games.
For the Pelicans, it’s all about remaining consistent. With a two-win gap between them and the San Antonio Spurs, the Pelicans must also strive to extend their recent two consecutive wins and turn them into a solid streak.
Jonas Valanciunas leads the Pels with 18.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks per game. The team has managed to remain calm, despite taking a few hits. They have also managed to turn their misfortune into a last-minute opportunity to reach the playoffs.
New Orleans must now watch for the Spurs, who handed them a 107-103 defeat last Saturday night. Still, the Pelicans also took a 116-108 home win over the Lakers on Sunday, and that is exactly what the team is set to pursue tonight.
More than just needing to end a four-game losing streak, the Lakers are now in a last-minute race to get back to the play-In tournament qualifying zone. After a 122-109 loss to the Jazz last night, the Lakers took another step back.
LeBron James continues to lead the team with 30.1 points on the offensive end. James also leads with 8.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game on the defensive side.
As the race tightens, the Lakers must remain focused to recover the 10th spot in the conference. However, that also implies taking a win over the team that handed them a loss less than a week ago.
The Pelicans might be seeking consistency, yet the Lakers’ urgency for wins might be challenging for them. The total has gone under in six of their last seven games for the Pelicans. As for the Lakers, the total has gone over in six of their previous seven games.
The Pelicans are still on a positive note. With a 3-2 record in their last five games, they seem capable of pulling the last-minute streak to guarantee a play-in tournament appearance. The Lakers are still looking to make their own appearance but will first have to overcome the rival that recently handed them a defeat just days ago.