Pelicans analyst Antonio Daniels weighs in on playoff chances and more

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) drives as Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan...
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) drives as Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson (13) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)(Rusty Costanza | AP)
Updated: Jun. 28, 2020 at 10:28 PM CDT
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Fox Sports New Orleans analyst Antonio Daniels believes the Pelicans playoff chances are as good as they’ve ever been.

“My thought process hasn’t changed, honestly,” says Daniels. “I thought when the season got suspended on March 11 that the Pelicans were on their way to securing the 8th and final seed in the Western Conference.”

Among the factors that will have an effect on the season restart in Orlando is the unknown. We’re still yet to see which players will decide to sit out and what minutes will look like after a four-month layoff. But working in the Pelicans’ favor is certainly their schedule.

“Going into the postponement of the season, the Pelicans had the easiest remaining schedule,” says Daniels. “Everybody has their conspiracy theory. ‘I think the NBA wanted this to happen. I think the NBA wanted that to happen.' Look, this is basketball. You have to take into consideration the schedule remaining that the Pelicans had. I think the NBA did a good job of doing just that.”

Daniels also commented on what’s happening in the world of basketball off the court as well.

“Right now there is a movement that is going on within this country like none of us have seen before,” says Daniels. “And we all understand the power of sports. And the fear is that the power of sports will deflect or take your mind away from the movement. Guys don’t want the momentum that this movement has right now, that is getting change throughout the country, that is getting cases re-opened, that is getting laws passed, they don’t want that to be lost within this.

“I completely understand that thought process. If you talk to fans, fans will always tell you that, ‘Professional sports is my escape from reality.' Think about that says in this country’s climate right now. Your escape from reality means there’s something in your reality that you want to get away from, that you don’t want to deal with. ‘I would rather watch LeBron. I would rather watch Zion. I would rather watch Giannis.' What players are saying is, ‘That’s great and all, but we don’t want you to lose sight of what’s really, really important. And that’s changing the social climate of our country. That’s something I truly, truly respect. And I’m behind those players 100 percent.”

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