Pelicans vs Kings prediction: In-Season Tournament Quarterfinals 12/4/2023 - odds, pick, how to watch
The Pelicans and Kings face off in the NBA In-Season Tournament, with Sacramento favored to win due to their home advantage.
The highly anticipated In-Season Tournament Quarterfinals are finally here, and fans are in for a star-studded showdown between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Sacramento Kings on Monday night. Both teams are looking to advance in the tournament and are prepared for a battle.
This will be the third time these teams have faced off in less than a month, and the stakes are higher than ever as they compete for a spot in the next round. The Kings are coming off a strong 123-117 home win against the defending champions, the Denver Nuggets, and have a record of 11-7, with a 6-2 record at the Golden 1 Center.
The Pelicans have won two of their last three games but suffered a recent loss to the Chicago Bulls. Despite this setback, they are still above .500 and are only one game behind the Dallas Mavericks for first place in the Southwest division. It's a refreshing change to see the Pelicans at full health, with players like Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and Jonas Valanciunas capable of delivering big performances.
In their recent loss to the Bulls, the Pelicans struggled to make shots when it mattered most, particularly from beyond the arc. They have the ninth-worst three-point shooting percentage in the league, and hitting shots from deep will be crucial for them to keep up with the high-scoring Kings.
One area where the Kings struggle is in rebounding, which could work to the Pelicans' advantage. Valanciunas, in particular, has been an underrated force, averaging 14 points and nine rebounds per game. Getting him involved early and often could be the key to the Pelicans moving on in the tournament.
The Kings have their eyes set on the In-Season Tournament championship and the $500,000 prize that comes with it. They will need to use their fast-break attack, led by superstar De'Aaron Fox, to outpace the Pelicans and cover the spread. Fox's playmaking will be crucial in securing a win for the Kings.
In what is sure to be an intense and high-scoring game, the Kings' home-court advantage and potent offense will likely be too much for the Pelicans to overcome. Expect both teams to give it their all, but ultimately, the Kings are favored to come out on top.