New Orleans Pelicans Playoffs First-Round Projections

Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis deserves MVP consideration. (Photo by Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The New Orleans Pelicans playoffs push is still ongoing. The Crescent City is gearing up for the post-season as the Pelicans attempt a run at the NBA Finals. As the regular season’s end lingers in just a few days, New Orleans is not yet a lock for the playoffs. Currently sitting at the eighth seed, the Pelicans are attempting to move up in the standings. With a record of 43-34, New Orleans knows it has to win a few of its final games and receive help from other teams to push for a better seed.

New Orleans Pelicans Playoffs First-Round Projections

The Minnesota Timberwolves are half-a-game ahead of New Orleans for the seventh seed as it stands. With not many games left, Anthony Davis and the Pelicans have to win the meaningful games and also need a few teams ahead of them to lose a few. With the season coming to an end, the Western Conference playoff push will be exciting to watch unfold.

It’s no question that the Western Conference is the more competitive conference in the NBA. That fact has been standing all season long. But for the Pelicans, their first-round opponent could be a tough task to handle. DeMarcus Cousins being out really fatigues the team’s chances at a meaningful post-season run. However, Davis and the rest of the team have done well without their big man.

First-Round Opponents

Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets have clinched homecourt advantage as the first seed throughout the playoffs in the Western Conference. Houston has been the best team in the league all season long. If the Pelicans end up as the eight-seed, the Rockets will be their first opponent. For New Orleans, facing James Harden and Chris Paul will be a tough task to overcome in the first round. This huge first-round test could provide the momentum that the Pelicans need as a franchise moving forward. With elite players like Davis and Cousins staying in the Crescent City for the foreseeable future, the Pelicans are set up for a successful few seasons.

Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors have become the perennial team to beat in the NBA over the past few seasons. Multiple championships and the acquisition of former NBA MVP Kevin Durant propelled Golden State as arguably the top team in the league. The Warriors have clinched the two-seed in the playoffs. However, star point guard and former NBA MVP Stephen Curry will not play in the first-round. If the Pelicans match up against Golden State, this could provide an advantage to New Orleans as they seek an upset. This match-up would pit the Pelicans as the seven-seed; a feat that they can foreseeably accomplish.

Final Thoughts

Any given spectrum has the Pelicans as a seven or eight-seed entering the playoffs. They could earn a higher seed, although that may seem unlikely at this point. The first-round draw with top-seeded Houston would bring forth an interesting challenge for New Orleans. NBA fans may not give the Pelicans a chance in this match-up, but they should.

Alternatively, facing Golden State could provide the Pelicans with a monstrous momentum shift should the Pelicans win that series. Either way, the Pelicans are likely headed to the playoffs as long as they win the meaningful games down the stretch as we approach the end of the regular season.


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