New Orleans Pelicans vs Los Angeles Clippers 4/15/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Predictions

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Clippers Matchup Preview (4/15/22)

It’s do-or-die for the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Clippers in the last play-in game before the playoffs begin! Whichever team wins will secure the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference and face the Phoenix Suns in a best-of-seven series. Unfortunately, the loser will go home and wait until October before playing in another NBA game. The Clippers suffered a tough loss in their first play-in game to a surging Minnesota Timberwolves squad that could give the Grizzlies a bit of trouble in the first round. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Paul George has unfortunately been ruled out, which could end up being the Clippers’ demise.

Meanwhile, New Orleans is another team that has played well recently, ranking in the top ten in offensive and defensive rating since the All-Star break. The key to unlocking the Pels’ potential was the acquisition of C.J. McCollum, who has averaged 25.2 points, six assists, and 4.6 rebounds on a 50/40/67 shooting split since arriving in New Orleans! Obviously, he could shoot it better from the charity stripe, but he is two-thirds of the way to the 50/40/90 club during that span. Between McCollum, Brandon Ingram, and the rest of the supporting cast, this team will not be an easy out for the Clippers. Below is a further analysis of each team and the game itself, so take a look!

Update: Paul George has been ruled out due to the league’s health and safety protocols.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Los Angeles Clippers Betting Odds

Did the Clippers hose me in the game against the Minnesota Timberwolves by not covering? Yes, they did. Now, there will be no Paul George and that changes my entire outlook on this matchup between two middle-of-the-road Western Conference teams. I would hammer the New Orleans Pelicans’ Moneyline because they just have more playmakers and talent in a game where availability is everything.

The point total piques my interest more, though; I don’t think the point total is appropriately set at 216 points. Except for the Clippers’ last outing, they had averaged 127 points over their past seven games. Additionally, New Orleans posted 113 in its previous game against San Antonio. Despite this game projecting as a defensive-centric matchup, I see both teams getting to at least 110 points. I’ll take the over.

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How To Watch

Date: 4/15/22
Time: 10:00 PM ET
Arena: Crypto.com Arena – Los Angeles, CA
Channel: TNT

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New Orleans Pelicans Starting Lineup

PG: C.J. McCollum
SG: Herb Jones
SF: Brandon Ingram
PF: Jaxson Hayes
C: Jonas Valanciunas

New Orleans Pelicans Analysis

C.J. McCollum has been a massive difference-maker for this New Orleans Pelicans team that started the 2021-22 NBA season with a 1-12 record! New Orleans was well on its way to finishing in last place in the Western Conference but was able to bounce back in the past few months. Then, its season became more than just a bounce-back story after it acquired McCollum; the Pelicans are legitimately a solid basketball team. The Pels have been a top ten team on both sides of the ball since the All-Star break, and if they didn’t have to play the Phoenix Suns in the first round (if they beat Los Angeles), I would have projected them giving the Western Conference some issues. Los Angeles did just get easier to beat, though, with Paul George being ruled out.

Los Angeles Clippers Starting Lineup

PG: Reggie Jackson
SG: Norman Powell
SF: Nicolas Batum
PF: Marcus Morris Sr.
C: Ivica Zubac

Los Angeles Clippers Analysis

As mentioned above, the Los Angeles Clippers have looked like a completely different team since Paul George returned from an elbow injury. They have ranked first in offensive rating and sixth in defensive rating during that stretch, resembling the team that was so effective last season. Unfortunately, they will not have Paul George available for this matchup due to him being placed in the league’s health and safety protocols. Now, the Clippers will need a secondary scorer to step up and assume a primary role, likely Reggie Jackson who has certainly shouldered much offensive responsibility when George was out. It is concerning, though, because it always seemed like Los Angeles had a new scorer every night with George out, and its offense is far from figured out without him on the floor.

Drew is a lead NBA writer at Lineups.com where he has been covering in-season basketball coverage to the NBA Draft. He is a former collegiate player who now spends time diving into NBA prospects and evaluating the analytics of the NBA.

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