The New Orleans Pelicans fall back down to the 10 seed one day after they became the 9 seed. The glory of pushing the Lakers down was short-lived as the Pelicans lost to the Charlotte Hornets today while the Lakers won against the Cavaliers. The Pelicans are shorthanded right now without Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson. The lack of their 2 stars definitely showed in the game.
The Hornets had a great team performance against the Pelicans. While no player scored more than 17 points, the Hornets had 6 players in double-digit scoring. LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier led the way with 17 points. Miles Bridges had 16 points and Mason Plumlee had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Montrezl Harrell (12 points) and Isiah Thomas (15 points) were the 2 other players with double-digit scoring. LaMelo had 9 assists as well.
The Pelicans were led by CJ McCollum’s 27 points and 6 assists. Jonas Valanciunas (24 points and 18 rebounds) and Naji Marshall were the only other players who scored in double-digits for the Pelicans. The great performances from McCollum and Valanciunas weren’t enough as the rest f the team did not step up to help them.
The loss hurts the Pelicans because they have now fallen into a situation where their Play-In spot is threatened. They are now the 10 seed in the Western Conference and have the San Antonio Spurs and the Portland Trail Blazers just 2 and 2.5 games behind them. With the two teams right on their heels, the Pelicans will need to win as many games as they can in this last stretch to remain in the Play-In game.
The Pelicans now have 2 games against the Lakers, 2 games against the Blazers, and a game against the Spurs. They also have to play the Warriors, the Grizzlies, and the Bulls over the remaining games. If the Pelicans lose to either the Blazers or the Spurs then their season could be over with n chance of the Playoffs.