The group phase described by some as an “elaborate game” to get Zion Williamson into the bubble

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When the NBA suspended its season, the New Orleans Pelicans were tied for 10th in the Western Conference at 28-36. The Memphis Grizzlies are eighth with a 3.5-game lead over the Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings.

The NBA discussed a scenario where the top 20 teams in the entire league, regardless of the board game, in a group stage style first round. Pelicans would be included in this scenario.

“Let me just say how you can get to 20? Said Brian Windhorst. “Because if you settle for records, because for me, that’s what I’ve heard before, okay. I’ve heard people in this league say it’s an elaborate game to get Zion Williamson into this bubble. “

Williamson missed the first part of the season and was a boon for the Pelicans on the field and for the NBA in terms of audience.

“I’ll tell you one thing: this scenario involves Zion Williamson,” added Windhorst. “Look, I just heard … I’m not saying the NBA is going that way, I’m just saying that I’ve heard this scenario before that whatever happens, the cutoff will be the Pelicans. They will be the first time in NBA history that the league has kicked the New Orleans fairway. “

“Aside from vetoing CP3 against the Lakers’ trade,” replied Tim MacMahon.

FiveThirtyEight gave the Pelicans a 60% chance of reaching the playoffs when the season was suspended in part because of their easier schedule.

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