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Game Thread: Pelicans’ “play-in tournament” starts tonight in first of three remaining matchups against Warriors

Can Zion, B.I. and the rest of New Orleans rise to the occasion???

New Orleans Pelicans v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans kick off their own version of the play-in tournament in the first of two back-to-back matchups against the Golden State Warriors Monday night inside the Smoothie King Center.

It’s simple: the Pelicans are trailing three teams ahead of them between 2.5-3.5 games and the easiest way of pulling ahead of one is by beating the opponent directly. Fortunately, New Orleans faces Golden State three more times before the 2020-21 schedule concludes.

The Pelicans will be without Josh Hart (right thumb surgery), Nickeil Alexander-Walker (left high ankle sprain) and Steven Adams (right first MTP sprain). Willy Hernangomez will start at center in place of Adams.

For the Warriors, they’ll be without Kelly Oubre (left wrist injury), Damion Lee (Health and Safety Protocols), Eric Paschall (left hip flexor strain), James Wiseman (right knee meniscus injury), and, of course, Klay Thompson (right Achilles tendon repair).

Everyone in the building and those watching/listening to broadcasts will be paying attention to Stephen Curry, but I’ll closely be monitoring Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green. You see, for as great as Steph is, he still usually needs help and there’s telling differences in the wins and losses of Golden State’s 2nd and 3rd most important players.

For more on today’s matchup, including the ins and outs of ESPN’s alternate broadcast of this game utilizing a Marvel theme, please give Justin’s preview a read.

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (29-35) vs Golden State Warriors (32-32)

When: May 3, 6:30 p.m. Central

Where to watch:

  • For traditional broadcast: ESPN
  • For Marvel presentation: ESPN2, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes
  • Both the alternate presentation and traditional game telecast will stream via the ESPN App

Where to listen: ESPN 100.3 FM

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.