2022-23 NBA Regular Season: Los Angeles Clippers vs. New Orleans Pelicans Predictions & Preview — April 2, 2023
The Los Angeles Clippers and the New Orleans Pelicans will duke it out for the third and last time in the 2022-23 NBA regular season, with the Clips looking to avoid a sweep. That’s going to be easier said than done against the rolling Pelicans, so expect an intriguing battle here.
Catch this game live on Sunday, April 2, at 8:30 AM, Manila time
Away: Los Angeles Clippers (41-37/20-19 Away)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: Russell Westbrook
- SG: Eric Gordon
- SF: Kawhi Leonard
- PF: Nicolas Batum
- C: Ivica Zubac
The Clippers still need to win games because they haven’t secured yet a guaranteed spot in the top six in the Western Conference standings. In other words, the Clippers have every reason to keep playing Kawhi Leonard. Leonard, who must be aching to get back at the Pelicans. The Klaw went just 4/16 from the field for 12 points in the 131-110 home loss to the Pels last Sunday.
The Clippers just can’t let New Orleans gain early momentum, especially on its home court. In that aforementioned loss to the Pelicans, the Clippers were outscored in the first quarter, 37-26. Even though they played without Paul George then, that could just be an anomaly, as the Clippers are top-10 in the league in first-quarter scoring defense.
Home: New Orleans Pelicans (39-38/24- 13 Home)
Projected Starting Five:
- PG: CJ McCollum
- SG: Trey Murphy III
- SF: Brandon Ingram
- PF: Herbert Jones
- C: Jonas Valanciunas
The Pelicans returned to their winning ways last Friday when they smothered the Nikola Jokic-less Denver Nuggets to finish a four-game road trip with a 107-88 victory and with just a loss during that stretch. New Orleans is playing with a sense of urgency, especially of late. The Pels have gone 6-1 in their last seven games, covering the spread in six of those contests.
New Orleans also seems to have the Clippers’ number this season, winning both meetings with LA, thus far. Los Angeles will have to be very wary of the Pelicans’ outside shooting, which has been incredible the past several games, with the team having nailed 13.1 3-pointers on 44.9 percent shooting from the field in the last seven outings. With the Clippers already down one crucial perimeter defender in Paul George, the Pels might see themselves lighting it up again from deep.
Spread: The Pelicans (-3) cover the spread.