Week 15 of the 2020-21 NBA season continues with the in-form New Orleans Pelicans hosting the rebuilding Orlando Magic. This the first time these two teams will meet this season with their second matchup scheduled for April 23rd. The Pelicans have turned it up a notch in the past few weeks. They have won six of their last nine matchups and are scoring an average of 116 points per game on nearly 51% efficiency.
Fixture: Orlando Magic vs New Orleans Pelicans | NBA Season 2020-21.
Date & Time: Thursday, April 1st, 2021; 8:00 PM ET (Friday, April 2nd; 5:30 AM IST).
Venue: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Pelicans Preview
The New Orleans Pelicans are steadily climbing the Western Conference ladder. They are now up to 12th in the conference and just one win away from overtaking the Sacramento Kings for the 11th spot. The Pelicans could make the play-in tournament if they continue their level of production. They are ranked 7th in the league in offensive rating at 116.5 and although their defense is severely lacking, they often compensate with their efficiency on offense.
The team is coming off wins against the LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Boston Celtics, Dallas Mavericks and the Denver Nuggets. Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are trading 30+ point games. They face a relatively easier schedule going ahead, as seven of their next ten games are against teams below a .500 winning record.
Key Player - Zion Williamson
It is safe to say that Zion Williamson has lived up to the hype surrounding him. He is averaging stellar numbers in his second year and is one of the most efficient forwards the game has seen. Zion leads the league in FG% for any player averaging over 20 points per game with a remarkable 62% shooting from the field. Williamson has had 12 30+ point outings and 26 20+ point outings. He is the key player for the New Orleans Pelicans franchise, and their title hopes certainly lie with him.
New Orleans Pelicans Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Nickeil Alexander-Walker | Shooting Guard - Eric Bledsoe | Small Forward - Brandon Ingram | Power Forward - Zion Williamson | Center - Steven Adams.
Orlando Magic Preview
The Orlando Magic have entered a rebuilding phase. They traded away Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic ahead of the NBA trade deadline and are now looking to intentionally tank the season in the hopes of landing a high draft pick in the upcoming NBA draft.
More importantly, the Orlando Magic just pulled off a great upset over the LA Clippers. Their entire roster came together to beat the title-contending team, beating the Clippers 103-96. Five players had double-digit points. Chuma Okeke scored a team-high 18 points, and they held the Clippers under 100 points on the defensive end.
Key Player - Michael Carter-Williams
Michael Carter-Williams averages the most minutes of the remaining starters on the team. He is averaging 8.7 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game on 38% shooting from the field. He will have a larger role now that the team is dependent on him to perform on a nightly basis.
Orlando Magic Predicted Lineup
Point Guard - Michael Carter-Williams | Shooting Guard - Dwayne Bacon | Small Forward - James Ennis III | Power Forward - Chuma Okeke | Center - Khem Birch.
Pelicans vs Magic Match Prediction
The New Orleans Pelicans are obvious favorites to win this game based on their roster alone. As mentioned earlier, the Orlando Magic are rebuilding their team and don't intend to win games for the rest of the season. However, the young Magic players just pulled off a 16-point comeback win over the Clippers so we cannot count out the possibility that they might be victorious tonight as well. The young players are getting solid minutes for the first time in a while, and they are eager to get on the court and take on anybody.
Where to watch the Pelicans vs Magic game?
The New Orleans Pelicans vs Orlando Magic game will be locally televised on BSNO and Bally Sports Florida. The match can also be streamed live with an NBA League Pass.