Yahoo Sports senior NBA writer Vincent Goodwill previews the Western Confernce In-season Tournament semifinal between the Pelicans and the Lakers - and details an advantage New Orleans has over Los Angeles. Hear the full conversation on “Good Word with Goodwill” - part of the “Ball Don’t Lie” podcast - and subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen.
VINCENT GOODWILL: The Lakers and Pelicans. We got LeBron, who's still here, and a guy we're still waiting on in Zion. We've got Anthony Davis against his former franchise, and the guy that he was traded for in the package, and Brandon Ingram. Is so many different subplots here. They're set to play on New Year's Eve and on the final day of the regular season, but they haven't played each other this year.
LeBron is still playing like an alien. Zion Williamson, when he plays, plays like an alien. You're talking about a guy that's shooting 60% from the field, scoring 26 points. There's literally not a match-up that the Pelicans have that the Lakers encounter with him. Who's guarding him? I have no idea. Well, who's guarding LeBron? I have no idea. I don't know who's guarding Brandon Ingram either. And he's going to have a lot to say, a lot to perform against his former team.
And the Pelicans get an extra day of rest. They got the long travel compared to the Lakers, but they get the extra day of rest and I think that is something that we're not necessarily thinking of here. That will be the late game on Thursday night. Bucks and Pacers will be the first game on Thursday night. And the winners of those two matchups meet up Saturday night for the final in Las Vegas at T-Mobile, and what we will all consider a new age NBA tradition.