New Orleans Pelicans @ Sacramento Kings

Published: April 3, 2015

The New Orleans Pelicans take on the Sacramento Kings on the West Coast tonight at 9:00 CT (UTC -5). The Pelicans sit at 40-34 with 7 games following this game. They will start their game 2 hours after the Oklahoma City Thunder tip off at the Memphis Grizzlies. The night starts with the Pelicans 1.5 games behind the 42-33 Thunder, who have just 6 games after this one, in a battle for the eighth seed in the Western Conference Playoff seeding. Sacramento sits at 26-48 and likely with a poor enough record to keep their first round pick this season which goes to Chicago if it falls out of the top 10.

The Pelicans had Ryan Anderson return to the lineup Wednesday against the Lakers, and to great effect, laying to rest pseudoconcerns about his health and fit on the roster. The Kings should have Demarcus Cousins tonight, despite continued speculation that he would be benched even after he played very well in the Kings’ loss in Houston Wednesday. Rudy Gay, however, is out with a concussion. Otherwise, the team’s available rosters are as we have come to know and love: Collison, Moreland out for the Kings, Holiday out for the Pelicans.

You can never count Cousins out in terms of having a big night, but the same can be said for Davis. Let’s take that as a given. The Pelicans will need to, as always, make sure their perimeter defense actually exists; even if the players simply act as moving chicanes, if it gives the interior players to make restricted area shots less frequent, it’ll help. Casspi, McCallum, McLemore, Stauskas . . . the Pelicans will have issues if two of these guys get hot.

As far as a New Orleans watch goes, fans will remember Casspi for his brief time here, and some will lament him being released without actually realizing he had a say in that. Long-time fans will remember Carl Landry, as well. Darren Collison will not appear in this film, but he gave us some great memories, so hat tip to Darren, and get well soon.

The Pelicans can end up this night 0.5 games behind the Thunder with 7 (Pelicans) + 6 (Thunder) games left to play or 2.5 games back.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, we all want to see the Pelicans make the playoffs (despite being ground beneath the Warriors’ wheels once there), but the end of the season is delivering on the drama front. Regardless, a win here locks up a non-losing season, the first for the new brand.

See you after the game.


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