5 things to know about the Pelicans on April 1, 2023

For New Orleans (39-38) to have a chance at a top-six seed in the Western Conference, it almost certainly will need to win Saturday, in a pivotal matchup against the fifth-place LA Clippers (41-37, 1.5 games ahead of the Pelicans). Tickets are available here for the 7:30 p.m. contest in the Smoothie King Center.

Watch the Pelicans vs. Clippers Pregame Report, hosted by Erin Summers. The team is not holding shootaround, having returned from Colorado yesterday on a lengthy flight.

Saturday’s tilt begins a four-game homestand in which New Orleans can achieve multiple big-picture goals, in addition to improving its positioning in the West standings. Sacramento, Memphis and New York are the latter three guests. Watch a hype video for the homestand.

Listen to Friday’s Pelicans Podcast, which features lengthy discussions of the team’s brightened outlook following a very successful four-game road trip (3-1).

There was more good news on Friday’s NBA scoreboard, particularly on the back end of the West standings. No. 10 Oklahoma City (38-40) lost at Indiana, moving several teams closer to clinching at least a play-in tournament berth. Meanwhile, No. 12 Utah (36-41) lost in Boston. The Thunder and Jazz face each other Thursday in Salt Lake City, which will add another loss to one of those clubs. With idle No. 11 Dallas at 37-40, it means any West team that can get to at least 43-39 is in the postseason. The Mavericks are at Miami on Saturday, then at Atlanta on Sunday, in urgent need of victories (OKC owns the two-team tiebreaker over Dallas). Elsewhere Friday, the Clippers’ loss at Memphis meant they are only 1.5 games ahead of the Pelicans entering Saturday’s meeting (New Orleans already clinched the tiebreaker, up 2-0 in the season series).