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LA Clippers vs New Orleans Pelicans Prediction & Match Preview - March 14, 2021 | NBA Season 2020-21

Zion Williamson (#1) of the New Orleans Pelicans drives to the basket against the LA Clippers.
Zion Williamson (#1) of the New Orleans Pelicans drives to the basket against the LA Clippers.
ANALYST
Modified 14 Mar 2021
Preview

The LA Clippers go on a three-game road trip in the 2020-21 NBA, which begins with a clash with the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center on Sunday.

Both the LA Clippers and the New Orleans Pelicans are coming off huge wins in their last games. Both teams are in the top 10 in offensive rating this season, but the New Orleans Pelicans have the third-worst defensive rating in the league.

The New Orleans Pelicans won their last game by a wide margin, a 116-82 victory against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday. Brandon Ingram had 28 points and seven rebounds, while Zion Williamson added 23 points and six rebounds.

Coming off the All-Star break, the LA Clippers trounced the Golden State Warriors 130-104 on Thursday. Kawhi Leonard scored 28 points and nine rebounds in just three quarters of play, while Paul George chipped in with 17 points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes.

Match Details

Fixture - LA Clippers vs New Orleans Pelicans | 2020-21 NBA Season.

Date & Time - Sunday, March 14th; 9:00 PM ET (Monday, March 14th; 7:30 AM IST).

Venue - Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA.

LA Clippers Preview

Kyrie Irving vs Paul George in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.
Kyrie Irving vs Paul George in the 2021 NBA All-Star Game.

After a three-game losing streak to end the first half of the season, the LA Clippers needed to kick off the second half on a positive note. They did so by holding the Warriors to 17 points in the second quarter, convincingly beating the team that has won three of the last six championships.

Coach Tyronn Lue’s team needed the win after three straight losses in close games.

Against the New Orleans Pelicans, the LA Clippers will have to play efficiently at the offensive end and look to protect the ball. They will fancy their chances against one of the worst defensive teams in the league and especially look to capitalise on opportunities in transition.

Key Player - Kawhi Leonard

Counting the loss to Team LeBron last Sunday, Kawhi Leonard has lost four games on the bounce while playing for the LA Clippers and Team Durant.

The two-time Finals MVP made sure the streak ended on Thursday with hot shooting (10 of 17 from the field and 5 of 7 from the three) and lockdown defense (nine defensive rebounds and three steals).

Leonard will be pitted against the New Orleans Pelicans’ young and talented Brandon Ingram on Sunday in a marquee matchup.

LA Clippers Predicted Lineup

G Reggie Jackson, G Paul George, F Kawhi Leonard, F Nicolas Batum, C Serge Ibaka.

New Orleans Pelicans Preview

After a rough night against the Timberwolves when they were routed by 30 points, it was refreshing for coach Stan Van Gundy’s team to turn the tables around and win convincingly in their next outing.

But the New Orleans Pelicans are quite an enigma.

There are days when they look like title contenders, such as when they beat the league-leading Utah Jazz 129-124 earlier this month. And there are days when they look like the worst team in the league, as evidenced in their lopsided loss to Minnesota, the team with the worst record in the NBA this season.

It is unclear which team could be taking the floor on Sunday, but Van Gundy would better hope it’s the one that took down the Utah Jazz. Defense will be the key for the New Orleans Pelicans, especially against an elite team like the LA Clippers.

Key Player - Brandon Ingram

Brandon Ingram has not played consistently in his last four games for the New Orleans Pelicans.

During this stretch, he averaged just 19.8 points, including outings of 17 and 13 points in consecutive games. But his 28-point performance against the Cavs was a good reminder of how good he can be when he is on song.

His duel with Kawhi Leonard will be key. As a player who could be one of the top two-way players in the game, Ingram will have to bring his A-game at both ends of the floor against the LA Clippers forward.

New Orleans Pelicans Predicted Lineup

G Lonzo Ball, G Eric Bledsoe, F Brandon Ingram, F Zion Williamson, C Steven Adams.

Clippers vs Pelicans Match Prediction

It’s not easy to predict which version of the New Orleans Pelicans team will take the floor against the LA Clippers on Sunday.

Zion Williamson is the team’s star who is slowly taking over the reins from Brandon Ingram this season. If the LA Clippers' Nicolas Batum can keep him quiet, this could be an easy win for the visitors. If they can’t, the LA Clippers will need to make sure they don’t cough the ball up too often; they'll also have to crash the boards to give them a better chance of winning.

Nevertheless, a win for the LA Clippers looks like the most likely proposition, as they have recovered their mojo back after their win against the Pelicans.

Where to watch the LA Clippers vs New Orleans Pelicans game?

The game between the LA Clippers and the New Orleans Pelicans will be shown nationally on ESPN‌ and locally on FOX Sports West and Prime Ticket and FOX Sports New Orleans. The match can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.

Also Read: "Have a chip on your shoulder" - Roy Hibbert recalls advice he gave Julius Randle during the duo's LA Lakers days.

Published 14 Mar 2021
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