NBA Play-In Tournament

Draymond predicts Kings will beat Pelicans ‘pretty easily' in play-in game

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After the Kings defeated his Warriors on Tuesday night in the NBA Play-In Tournament, Draymond Green doesn't believe Sacramento's postseason journey will end anytime soon.

While giving his predictions for Friday's two play-in games, Green projected the Kings will defeat a Zion Williamson-less Pelicans team to advance to the first round of the NBA playoffs.

"Without Zion, I think the Kings should win that pretty easily," Green said Thursday on "The Draymond Green Show." "No game at that magnitude is ever easy. The Kings beat us pretty easily. I'm sure they didn't feel like it was that easy -- it's max effort. So, take what I say with a grain of salt. But I think the Kings go in. They have the experience, they came on the road here last year during the playoffs and won a game. They have the experience. I think they go and win that game.

"If their defense is flying around the way it was flying around against us, with no Zion, that's Zion's 24 points that he averages on the floor, but that's like 50 to 55 points with his impact with people shrinking and them getting 3s and the pressure he puts on the rim, the defenses collapsing and you get a swing, swing -- that's a huge loss.

"That's a huge loss, and they're not going to be able to overcome that in my opinion."

Sacramento lost all five of its regular-season games against New Orleans this season, including a Jan. 7 matchup without Williamson. The Pelicans humiliated the Kings in a 133-100 blowout win at Golden 1 Center, and boos erupted inside the arena as New Orleans led by as many as 50.

Like Green, however, the Kings won't focus on their 0-5 record against the Pelicans, and only will look at the game in front of them.

The winner of Friday's game will earn a first-round meeting with the No. 1 seed Oklahoma City Thunder. The loser goes home -- for good.

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