Last Night’s Scores:

Dallas Mavericks: 122 vs. Orlando Magic: 106

Performance of the Game: L. Doncic (33 pts, 10 rebs, 8 asts)

Cleveland Cavaliers: 113 vs. Washington Wizards: 108

Performance of the Game: B. Beal (26 pts)

Indiana Pacers: 106 vs. New York Knicks: 98

Performance of the Game: D. Sabois: 24 pts, 13 rebs

Phoenix Suns: 101 vs. Toronto Raptors: 118

Performance of the Game: P Siakam (37 pts, 12 rebs)

Boston Celtics: 127 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves: 117

Performance of the Game: G. Hawyard (29 pts, 5 rebs, 6 asts)

Denver Nuggets: 101 vs. OKC Thunder: 113

Performance of the Game: S. Adams (19 pts, 17 rebs)

San Antonio Spurs: 113 vs. Utah Jazz: 104

Performance of the Game: D. Murray (23 pts, 7 rebs)

Memphis Grizzlies: 105 vs. Los Angeles Lakers: 117

Performance of the Game: A. Davis (28 pts, 13 rebs, 7 blks)

New Orleans Pelicans: 128 vs. Portland Trail Blazers: 115

Performance of the Game: Z. Williamson (25 pts)

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@nba 18 teams hit the floor on a busy Friday night around the Association! [View on Instagram]

Latest News in the NBA:

  • The Los Angeles Lakers dropped DeMarcus Cousins and signed Markieff Morris.

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@sportscenter The Lakers are parting ways with DeMarcus Cousins, per @wojespn and @ramonashelburne. [View on Instagram]
  • Karl Anthony-Towns to sit for at least two weeks with injury.
  • Kemba Walker did not play last night due to injury.

Opinion of the Day:

The Pelicans traveled to Portland and left with a W. Even though Damian Lillard did not play, it still was an impressive win all around for the Pelicans. It is crazy to think that the Pelicans are even in contention for the playoffs, given their record just a few weeks ago. However, I don’t just think that they will be contenders for the playoffs, but will become the 8th seed by the end of the season.

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@pelicansnba @zionwilliamson playing bully ball 😤 [View on Instagram]

While the biggest difference between the first and second half of the season is Zion, there are other factors which lead me to believe that the Pelicans will make the playoffs. The most important is that their schedule is incredibly easy from now on. They statistically have the 30th hardest schedule in the league for the rest of the season.

Another thing which will benefit the Pelicans tremendously is that the team which currently holds the 8th seed has the hardest remaining schedule. The Memphis Grizzlies, who have lost two game in-a-row following the All-Star break, will most likely not end up with the 8th seed given their difficulty of schedule.

Lastly, the Pelicans look like a completely different team with the combination of Zion and Ingram. If you have been following along with the Pelicans the entire season, the difference is astronomical. The duo of Duke alumns are both scoring machines, but surprisingly can function together on the court.

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