Can the Clippers build off their strong win yesterday going into the second night of a back to back, or will they suffer another ignominious defeat to the Pelicans?

Game Information

Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

When: 5:00 PM PT

How to Watch: Bally Sports SoCal, AM 570

Tickets: For great deals on Clippers tickets, check out Barry’s Tickets!

Projected Starting Lineups

Clippers: Bones Hyland – Terance Mann – Paul George – Kawhi Leonard – Ivica Zubac

Pelicans: CJ McCollum – Brandon Ingram – Herb Jones – Zion Williamson – Jonas Valanciunas


Clippers: Russell Westbrook Out (Hand), James Harden Questionable (Shoulder)

Pelicans: Dyson Daniels Out (Knee)

The Big Picture

The Clippers’ roller coaster second half of the season continues, as they followed up a disastrous loss to Minnesota at home with an excellent road win over the Bulls. The Clippers are on a second night of a back to back on the road and key players logged a lot of minutes against the Bulls, so this is a tough schedule game. As long as they play with the pace and execution on offense that they did against Chicago, and have that kind of effort on defense, they should at least be able to make the Pelicans work hard for the win.

The Antagonist

The Pelicans have solidified their hold on a playoff spot the last couple months, and are well within striking distance of the Clippers in 4th. The Pelicans are succeeding not through the brilliance of any one player – they had no All Stars and probably won’t have any All-NBA players – but through depth and a bunch of very effective lineups. Their starting unit, in fact, is not one of their better groups, as the Pels tend to fare better when the CJ-Ingram-Zion trio is split up to be paired with more off-ball, defense-first players. Still, the Pelicans are very deep in solid NBA players, and have one of the absolute best perimeter defenders in the NBA in Herb Jones along with a big wing sharpshooter in Trey Murphy to complement their best players. The Pels are a dangerous team, even if Zion and Ingram aren’t having the breakout seasons that might have pushed them to true contender level.


Guarding Zion: The Pelicans’ biggest mismatch over the Clippers (and most teams) is Zion Williamson, who is too fast for most big men and too strong for most wings. Kawhi is the Clippers’ best bet on Zion, but that’s asking a lot of him for a full game, especially if he has to up his offense with Harden out. If Harden is still out, I also wonder if we see PJ Tucker in the second unit instead of Brandon Boston, who played yesterday, as PJ is an acceptable matchup on Zion. Keep an eye out for that, and for any other defensive strategies the Clippers implement to slow down Zion.

Standings Watch: Yesterday went quite well for the Clippers, as not only did they win, but the Mavs and Suns both lost, further insulating the Clippers from a fall down the standings. A win over the Pelicans tonight would not fully inoculate the Clippers from a slip out of the 4 seed, but it would make such a collapse a lot more unlikely. If the Clippers can win this one and just hold their head above water the last 15 games, the 4 seed should be theirs. At this point, I’m more or less ruling out the 1 or 2 seed and probably the 3 seed, so keeping homecourt at least in the first round is top priority.

Disclaimer: 213Hoops may receive compensation for some links to products and services in this post.

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments