At this point, it's really simple. Both teams have four regular season games remaining. The Pelicans will make the playoffs if they win the same number of games or more than the Thunder over the course of the final week. Thus, if they win all four games, they'll control their own destiny and not need any help from any of Oklahoma City's remaining opponents.
The Pelicans remaining schedule consists of PHX, @HOU, @MIN, SAS. Two games on the road, two at home. Every game is pivotal but the two road games could very well decide New Orleans fate -- it's the last back-to-back series of the season. Out of the played 19 back-to-backs, the Pelicans have swept both games only twice! Talk about an abysmal ratio.
The remaining Thunder schedule looks like this: SAC, @IND, POR, @MIN. The games against the Pacers and Blazers are a back-to-back. Out of their 17 back-to-back series, they've managed to win both games only 5 times. One would expect they can handle the Kings (although a lot rides on whether DeMarcus Cousins plays) and Wolves, but the Pacer and Blazer matchups could be interesting. Indiana is one game out of the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference playoff picture and Paul George has recently returned. Meanwhile, Terry Stotts has claimed Portland will not be resting any more players for the rest of the season.
Speaking of which, it is rather fruitless to talk about which teams will rest players down the stretch. Considering how tightly packed the #2 through #6 seeds are in the Western Conference, the Pelicans should NOT expect neither the Rockets nor the Spurs to take a knee in our upcoming matchups.
Thus, the old adage of, win or go home, really applies. Geaux Pelicans!