Welcome to the preview of the 2022 NBA Western Conference play-in tournament. For updates throughout the day follow me on Twitter, or check out The Edge daily at 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT.
All game lines via VSiN NBA Odds page.
No. 10 San Antonio Spurs at No. 9 New Orleans Pelicans (-5.5, 229.5)
Regular season series: Spurs won 3-1
Personally, there is no team I find more fascinating in these play-in games than the New Orleans Pelicans. Willie Green’s adjusted starting lineup has been a statistical wonder for New Orleans, and it is the main reason why this team now has a chance to make it into the postseason. With CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram, Herb Jones, Jaxson Hayes and Jonas Valanciunas on the floor, the Pelicans are + 7.1 per 100 possessions with a 123.5 offensive rating. That group is a rebounding machine as well, grabbing 34.6% of their missed shots while averaging a staggering 36.3 points per 100 missed field goals.
Since the All-Star break, New Orleans is 7-2 SU/6-3 ATS when that lineup starts the game .. the issue is that lineup has only been available for nine of the last 23 games. Ingram missed 10 consecutive games with a hamstring injury that has seemingly lingered and forced him to miss the final three games of the regular season. He needs to be healthy if the Pelicans are going to win this game, let alone make it to the postseason, as their defense is still a work in progress.