Five things to know about the Pelicans on May 3, 2021

by Jim Eichenhofer

1)      There have been plenty of times this season when it did not seem likely New Orleans (29-35) would be playing in consequential May games, including after a 5-10 start to 2020-21, but the Pelicans have a momentous Monday/Tuesday back-to-back vs. Golden State (32-32) that begins tonight. Week 20 of the NBA schedule for New Orleans consists of those two games against the Warriors, followed by Friday and Sunday road tilts in Philadelphia (43-21) and Charlotte (31-33).

2)      Saturday’s dramatic win at Minnesota put New Orleans in much better position entering this vital miniseries.

3)      New Orleans hosts Golden State at 6:30 p.m., with pregame coverage on 100.3 FM starting at 6. There is no local TV game coverage, due to ESPN and ESPN2 exclusively televising. The latter network will have a unique “Marvel Heroes” comic book-themed broadcast.

4)      Read Sunday’s injury report.

5)      The Pelicans are 2.5 games behind 10th-place San Antonio (31-32), technically closer to the Spurs than they are to the Warriors (three-game deficit). However, based on tiebreaker considerations, New Orleans is essentially in “better position” to pursue Golden State, partly due to three remaining Pelicans-Warriors meetings (May 3-4, 14). San Antonio is three ahead of New Orleans in the loss column and also owns the tiebreaking advantage, meaning the Spurs would have to lose four more times than the Pelicans over the rest of 2020-21 in order for New Orleans to surpass San Antonio. Eighth-place Memphis (32-31) is 3.5 games ahead of New Orleans, but the Pelicans hold the tiebreaking advantage.

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