No, the NBA is not Cheating to get the New Orleans Pelicans into the Postseason

New Orleans Pelicans
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - SEPTEMBER 09: NBA players, Zion Williamson (front) and Lonzo Ball of the New Orleans Pelicans walk on the field before the game between the New Orleans Saints and the Houston Texans at Mercedes Benz Superdome on September 09, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

At first glance, it looks like the NBA is doing everything they can to get the New Orleans Pelicans into the playoffs. They’re just 3.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the 8th seed, and they have the easiest schedule once the season resumes in Orlando. However, despite the online uproar, there is no conspiracy afoot.

There is No Conspiracy to Get the New Orleans Pelicans into the Playoffs

The pieces fit together so nicely: Zion Williamson, a playoff push, the easiest schedule, and a potential first-round matchup with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. It makes sense that the NBA would want the highest ratings possible, and Williamson is one of the hottest tickets in sports right now. Kendrick Perkins — who has never had a bad take, of course — even chimed in, further fueling conspiracy theorists.

So there has to be some underlying conspiracy to push the Pelicans into the postseason, right?

No, unfortunately. This isn’t the hot, new NBA conspiracy fans want it to be. I know, I wish it were true, too.

In reality, the Pelicans will play virtually the same schedule they would have faced under normal circumstances. They will still play seven of the 12 opponents they were already slated to play. Only two of the five omissions will be playing in Orlando. It would be hard to play the New York Knicks or Charlotte Hornets after all, since those teams didn’t get a ticket to Disney World. The Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns are the only available opponents left off the schedule.

The only other changes to the schedule are redactions of repeat games. The Pelicans will still face the Sacramento Kings twice — as previously scheduled — but will only face the San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards, and Memphis Grizzlies once each.

NBA conspiracy theories are fun. Unfortunately, this one isn’t true. The NBA will resume July 30th with a matchup between the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

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