The New Orleans Pelicans wrapped up the preseason with yet another win and have given the fans high hopes for the 2019 season.
The New Orleans Pelicans went undefeated!… In the preseason. New Orleans’ 117-116 win over the New York Knicks on Friday night made them a perfect 5-0 in the preseason with some pretty fun wins under their belt.
This win came without Zion Williamson, who is going to miss a few weeks with a right knee injury. There was that dynamic missing throughout the game but the Pelicans were able to hold onto the lead late and get the job done.
Preseason wins and losses ultimately do not matter and the result alone is not indicative of the season that lies ahead. The important thing to take from these games is the individual performances and how rotation can start to form.
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We did learn some things about who the Pelicans will be this year. With that new knowledge on the team, we decided to take a crack at predicting exactly what the team’s win-loss record will be at year’s end.
Don’t worry: we will revisit this.
The over/under wins total for the Pelicans this season is 39.5, courtesy of the Action Network. Meaning to win the bet, if you bet the over, the Pelicans would have to win 40 games this season. Keep that number in mind.
Alright, so they play every team in their division four times this season. That is four games each against the Houston Rockets, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies.
Without going into too much depth on every single matchup, the respective record against the division foes will be 1-3, 2-2, 3-1 and 3-1. This gives the Pelicans a 9-7 record thus far.
There are four teams in the Western Conference that they play three games against, the Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns. Again, respectively, we think the Pelicans will go 1-2, 2-1, 2-1, 2-1. The total record is up to 16-12.
The remaining six Western Conference teams, the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder all have four games against the Pelicans.
Again, respectively, we see the Pelicans going 1-3, 1-3, 2-2, 1-3, 2-2, 3-1. That bumps our total record up to 26-26. Not too bad for a deep Western Conference. Now we move into the East, where it starts to get fun.
The East is obviously not as good as the West and the Pelicans should have an easier time in the two games against each Eastern Conference foe.
The Atlantic consists of the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks. We see the Pelicans going 1-1, 1-1, 2-0, 1-1 and 2-0 against the Atlantic. That is a 7-3 record against the Atlantic and an overall record of 33-29.
The Central consists of the Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers. New Orleans should go 0-2, 1-1, 1-1, 1-1 and 2-0. That is a 5-5 record in the central and a 38-34 record overall.
Creeping up on that 39.5 line.
Finally, the Southeast consists of the Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards. We see the Pelicans going 1-1, 1-1, 2-0, 1-1 and 1-1 in those games. That is a 6-4 record in that division and 44-38 record overall.
We have the New Orleans Pelicans going four games over what you would need for the over to hit. That might seem great and all, but to put it into perspective, the eighth seed last year finish with 48 wins in the West.
This year is obviously different but the Pelicans could absolutely hit the over with some games to spare and not be a playoff team.
But if you are someone who expects the New Orleans Pelicans to be a playoff team this season, then I would hammer the over. This is a team that should at least go .500.