Pelicans to Join Playoff Party with Victory over Ailing Clippers

Monday, April 9, 2018 3:26 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 9, 2018 3:26 PM UTC

New Orleans has not been in the NBA playoffs in three years and just once since the 2011-12 season. They can secure a postseason berth with a win tonight in Los Angeles.

<h2 style="text-align:center"><a href="" title="Pelicans vs. Clippers">NBA Monday: Pelicans (46-34, 43-36-1 ATS) vs. Clippers (42-38, 42-37-1 ATS)</a></h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Free NBA Pick: Pelicans -8</h2><h2 style="text-align:center">Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=Bookmaker" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">Bookmaker</a></h2><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3264375, "sportsbooksIds":[93,1096,139,180,1275], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>New Orleans has been on a rollercoaster ride in trying to reach the playoffs. On March 22, after beating the L.A. Lakers, the Pelicans had moved up to the No. 4 slot, riding a four-game winning streak in the Western Conference, which was as log-jammed as the Los Angeles freeway system. Nothing has ever come easy for the Pelicans and they immediately turned around, losing four consecutive games to fall to No. 8 and staring at missing the playoffs altogether. Instead of folding, New Orleans picked itself up and has won three straight and moved back to the fifth spot out West.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Two more games left! &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;The &lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#Pelicans&lt;/a&gt; can clinch a playoff spot with a W tonight! &lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;🏀 at Clippers &lt;br /&gt;⌚ 9:30 pm CT&lt;br /&gt;📺 ESPN&lt;br /&gt;📻 &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;@995WRNO&lt;/a&gt;&lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#DoItBig&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;April 9, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><p>Earlier today the <a href="" title="NBA Odds">NBA odds board</a> had New Orleans as a 7.5-point road favorite over the injury-riddled Clippers, with a total of 226. Are the Pelicans a lock for your <a href="" title="Free NBA Picks">NBA picks</a>, or do the Clips make life uncomfortable for the visitors in the nationally televised game (10:30 p.m. ET; ESPN)?</p><p> </p><h2>New Orleans Travels Well</h2><p>This is the Pelicans' final road game of the season and they have been a tough in their traveling uniforms all year at 23-17 SU and 25-15 ATS. Their 126-120 win at Golden State two nights ago was a huge confidence booster, but that only matter if they follow it up with another victory.</p><p>Anthony Davis is the face of the franchise and is having another fine season. But credit coach Alvin Gentry for being creative. New Orleans plays a lot of "small ball" to create mismatches, using a three-guard lineup. Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo are the starting guards and 6-foot-4 E'Twaun Moore is listed as the "shooting forward" in the box score.</p><p>Gentry is willing to play this way knowing he has Davis as the last line of defense.</p><p> </p><h2>Injuries Clip Clippers' Season</h2><p>It's not like the Clippers came into the season with high expectations after losing Chris Paul and later trading Blake Griffin. Yet somehow, they kept hanging around on the playoff fringes.</p><p>Despite losing three point guards, Doc Rivers' team still had a chance to reach the postseason thanks to DeAndre Jordan and Lou Williams guiding this team through the rough patches. However, the final blow came when they lost Milos Teodosic to a foot injury in a victory over Phoenix on March 28. The Clips are 1-4 SU and ATS since then and were eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday.</p><p> </p><h2>How This Game Plays Out</h2><p>Rivers has vowed his team will not roll over for New Orleans and will come to play. However, playing your best with a roster short on guard talent against the Pelicans' trio of talented guards is a lot to overcome. Especially with how confident and proud New Orleans sounded after the upset of the Warriors.</p><p>Expect a typical fourth-quarter outcome, but Davis and company do the job and cover the spread and move to 13-2 ATS as road favorites this season (winning margin is 9.5 PPG).</p>
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