On the Lookout: Pelicans need to bounce back in Warriors rematch

Published May 4, 2021, 6:00 PMRenee Ticzon

After getting blown out by the Warriors in the first game of their back-to-back, Zion Williamson and the Pelicans need to regroup quickly if they want to keep their play-in hopes alive.

It’s another battle between the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans. Catch the game live this Wednesday at 8:00 AM on NBA TV Philippines via Cignal TV or NBA.smart.

The Warriors are booming with confidence after their big blowout victory that bumped them up to No. 8 in the Western Conference. This allows a more secure spot in the play-in tournament if they continue to climb up the ladder.

Assuming they stay at the 8th spot, the Warriors can clinch a playoff appearance by getting a win against the 7th seed. If they lose that game, then they have another opportunity to make the playoffs against the victor of the 9th and 10th matchup.

This is great news, especially when the team’s success is dependent on a superstar named Stephen Curry, who's built for the big moments. Their current position, if they keep it, will give the team a little more rest going into the postseason.

Speaking of Curry, he was excellent against the Pelicans as he finished with 41 points. Draymond Green also had a stellar performance, filling up the stat sheet with 10 points, 13 rebounds, 15 assists, three steals, and two blocks. Green went on to become the first champion in the Marvel's Arena of Heroes special ESPN broadcast.

It seems like the Warriors have the Pelicans all figured out, and this brews trouble for New Orleans. The Pelicans still have a chance to overtake the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzlies, but they need to put in the work especially since they are about to meet some tough competitors to end the season. After the Warriors, they will face higher-seeded teams including the Philadelphia 76ers, Dallas Mavericks, and Los Angeles Lakers.

If they want to make it to the play-ins, it can’t be just Zion Williamson doing all the work. In their previous match against the Warriors, Williamson had 32 points and eight rebounds. But that’s it. Nobody scored more than 20 points, nobody had double-digit rebounds, and the team only had a total of 20 assists. If they want to make a push, they need someone to help Zion out.

Brandon Ingram has been a consistent contributor with averages of 24.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.9 assists. However, they need to get another person involved and maybe, just maybe, that guy is Lonzo Ball. After hitting a career-high of 33 points against the Timberwolves, Ball fell to just seven points, hitting just three field goals despite 18 attempts. He’s clearly capable of having big games, but his consistency is where it can get quite shaky. 

If they go into the play-ins, Ingram and Ball need to get in sync to help Williamson who’s been carrying the load for the team. However, before they can even get there, they need to win some more games to finally enter the Top 10.