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Game thread: With Paul George unavailable (health and safety protocols), Pelicans favored over Clippers in Play-in

Despite the news, New Orleans should expect for L.A. to remain a very difficult opponent

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Clippers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Clippers announced earlier today that Paul George has entered the league’s health and safety protocols. After testing positive for COVID-19, the star will miss tonight’s Play-in game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

First and foremost, here’s to PGIII returning to full health as quickly as possible from the deadly virus.

Without question, though, the Pelicans suddenly have a golden opportunity. An easier path to the 2022 playoffs should be sitting before them. Oddsmakers have listed New Orleans as 1-point favorites.

Prior to the breaking news about George, the Clippers were coined 4-point favorites.

Paul George is a legitimate star with big-game experience. He has 108 playoff games under his belt, with averages of 21.3 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists.

It’s also important to note that the Clippers have a 24-27 record in games without George in the rotation. With him, they went 18-13.

So yes, the Clippers are more beatable without George, but it doesn’t guarantee success for the Pelicans and that they’ll automatically emerge the victor tonight.

If anything, expect for the available Clippers to fight that much harder, knowing it they win they’ll make the playoffs, with George likely returning in the near future.

For more on tonight’s matchup, please give our preview a read.

LET’S GEAUX PELS!

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (36-46) at Los Angeles Clippers (42-40)

When: April 15, 2022, 9:00 p.m.

Where to watch: TNT

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.