The NBA restart is bound to bring some intriguing matchups. One of the more interesting ones is the Pelicans vs Clippers on Saturday, August 1st, which features players like Zion Williamson and Kawhi Leonard. Let’s break this down:
Pelicans vs Clippers Preview
This Pelicans vs Clippers match-up will not disappoint. The LA Clippers are a well-coached and very talented team. They currently sit in second place in the Western Conference with a record of 44-20. While they sit 5.5 games back from their crosstown rival Lakers, it is likely they will continue the strategy of resting players like Paul George and especially Kawhi Leonard, who has been criticized for missing games due to “load management.” This means they could certainly drop some games to teams who are trying to claw their way into the playoffs.
Enter the Pelicans.
These two teams have faced each other once so far this season. It was a close game won by the Clippers by a score of 133-130. Kawhi led the Clippers with 39 points while Lou Williams recorded 32 points. For the Pelicans, Lonzo Ball had a triple-double, but it wasn’t enough to stop LA.
However, the Pelicans were without Zion Williamson. Paul George was inactive as well for the Clippers in that game. While LAC has had the better season and certainly has more talented players, the Pelicans seem to always rise to their opponent’s level and make things close.
NBA 2K Simulation
When the Pelicans and Clippers faced off in NBA 2K20, the teams were neck and neck for a while. The first half included several lead changes. The Pelicans led by one going into half time. In the third quarter, the Clippers pulled away, winning those 12 minutes by 13 points. The final score was 110-98 in favor of LAC.
Both teams shot decently from the field, though the Clippers were slightly better with 47% compared to the Pelicans’ 45%. The biggest difference-maker for LA, however, was three-point shooting. They went 11/26 (42%) while NOLA shot just 7/28 (25%). Zion Williamson was the game’s leading scorer with 25 points, eight boards, and four assists. Montrezl Harrell led the Clippers with 19 points, 11 assists, and two blocks.
While I believe the Pelicans can rise up, I do not think this is a game for a bold prediction. Therefore, I have the Clippers winning. LAC has more talented players, better coaching, and most importantly Kawhi Leonard. When big games come, Kawhi is nearly unstoppable and I don’t see him allowing the Clippers to drop a game to a team like the Pelicans. This game will not be a blowout, but due to a lack of experience and talent, and Kawhi Leonard, I don’t see the Pelicans winning this one.