Pelicans pushing for playoffs this year: Can they catch the Mavericks?
New Orleans is 11 games under .500 but sits tenth in the Western Conference before the games have been played on Feb. 8. Adding CJ McCollum, Larry Nance Jr., and Tony Snell is a significant instant upgrade. The Pelicans still have not had Zion Williamson on the court this season, but the 21-year-old star does not appear close to returning.
The additions should be enough to secure the Pelicans a place in the play-in tournament, but they will not be able to catch the Mavericks in the standings. They are currently 9.5 games behind with just 29 contests remaining. Dallas is hot, and superstar Luka Doncic is just starting to play his best basketball. Expect the Mavs to finish strong and grab a top-five place in the West standings.
The Pelicans are eight games out of the top six, so they will likely need to advance to the playoffs via the play-in tournament this season. With a healthy Zion, New Orleans will be a strong team as McCollum joins Brandon Ingram and Jonas Valanciunas to help the Pelicans compete this season.
Are the New Orleans Pelicans a better team than the Dallas Mavericks moving forward after acquiring CJ McCollum?