With the fate of both teams almost already decided this season, there’s not much they are playing for except bragging rights at this point.
In Zion Williamson’s second year in the league, the New Orleans Pelicans came close to becoming a playoff team. However, a late injury sidelined him for the season. It’s a disappointing finish to what has been a sensational sophomore campaign for the 20-year-old.
The Golden State Warriors (37-33), on the other hand, are already assured of a play-in tournament spot. However, they need to stave off the Memphis Grizzlies (36-33) from taking the No. 8 position by winning as many of their remaining games as they can. They have two games left and are on a four-game winning streak.
New Orleans Pelicans vs Golden State Warriors Injury Report
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans have several names on their injury report since being booted out of a chance to play in the postseason.
Three players are questionable for Friday's matchup against the Golden State Warriors.
Brandon Ingram is among them because of a left ankle sprain that has caused him to miss the New Orleans Pelicans’ previous four outings. With only two games left on their calendar, it’s unlikely that the team will let him play. Nevertheless, there’s a slim chance that he’ll play, but he could risk worsening the injury by doing so.
Steven Adams is another player who is unsure to play on Friday versus the Golden State Warriors. The veteran center has a sprained toe and has been absent for four games in a row.
Wes Iwundu has a left shoulder strain and could be sidelined as well.
In addition, the New Orleans Pelicans have ruled out three players.
Lonzo Ball is out for the game against the Golden State Warriors. This will be the second straight contest that he will miss due to a strained right thumb.
Zion Williamson is unofficially done for the season due to a fractured left finger. He hasn’t played the last four games, which practically sealed the New Orleans Pelicans’ fate.
Finally, Josh Hart’s surgically repaired UCL hasn’t healed enough for him to play, although he’s out of the splint already. The New Orleans Pelicans have likely shut him down for the season.
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors have listed several players on their injury report.
Eric Paschall is probable to play against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. He hasn’t played since April 2 because of a left hip flexor strain and could return to the lineup in preparation for the play-in tournament.
Four players are considered questionable for the game.
Stephen Curry is nursing a bruised tailbone, which could put him in street clothes for the Pelicans match.
Forward/center Draymond Green has a strained left finger that might be an issue for Friday’s encounter. He is 50-50 for the game.
Another starter who is questionable to play is Andrew Wiggins. The 26-year-old is dealing with a sore right knee, which the Golden State Warriors are monitoring. He hasn’t missed a game all season, and it’s possible that the Warriors will rest him to keep him fresh for the play-in tournament.
Mychal Mulder has left knee soreness and is unsure of giving it a go against the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Golden State Warriors have also deemed four players to be unavailable.
Kelly Oubre Jr. will be sidelined due to a torn ligament in his left wrist. The injury is more serious than originally thought, and it could keep him from suiting up for the rest of the regular season. If the Golden State Warriors make the playoffs, it’s possible that he’ll be back by then, if not as soon as the play-in tournament.
Damion Lee has been ruled out due to the league’s health and safety protocols. He’s been out since April 21, and it’s uncertain if he’ll be activated in time for the season-ender.
Finally, Klay Thompson (Achilles injury) and James Wiseman (right meniscal tear) have been shut down for the season due to their respective injuries.
New Orleans Pelicans vs Golden State Warriors Predicted Lineups
New Orleans Pelicans
Ball’s absence has given Nickeil Alexander-Walker the opportunity to start in his place.
Ingram’s and Williamson’s spots have been filled in the starting lineup by Naji Marshall and James Johnson, respectively. The backup forwards will be James Nunnally and Wenyen Gabriel.
Adams hasn’t played for four straight contests for the New Orleans Pelicans, and if he doesn’t suit up, it’s up to Willy Hernangomez to take on the starting center position once more.
Kira Lewis Jr. will continue to play additional minutes in the backcourt when they play the Golden State Warriors, and so will Didi Louzada, who played his first NBA game on Wednesday. Louzada had two points and a rebound in 15 minutes.
Golden State Warriors
If Curry misses the New Orleans Pelicans game, Nico Mannion could start in his place, with Jordan Poole taking on the other guard spot.
Wiggins’ potential absence could also open up more time on the court for Kent Bazemore, who has been a starter since April 10. He might start at small forward. Gary Payton II will likely play more minutes as well.
Meanwhile, if Draymond Green is unavailable, Juan Toscano-Anderson could be the starter. Paschall could be the backup if he plays unless Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr decides to reverse their roles.
Kevon Looney will start at center for the Golden State Warriors with Wiseman out, while Alen Smailagic will be his reliever.
New Orleans Pelicans vs Golden State Warriors Predicted Starting 5s
New Orleans Pelicans:
Point Guard - Eric Bledsoe l Shooting Guard - Nickeil Alexander-Walker l Small Forward - Naji Marshall l Power Forward - James Johnson l Center - Willy Hernangomez
Golden State Warriors:
Point Guard - Nico Mannion l Shooting Guard - Jordan Poole l Small Forward - Kent Bazemore l Power Forward - Juan Toscano-Anderson l Center - Kevon Looney