Perhaps Draymond Green deserves a pass having fallen victim to one of humanity's greatest flaws. The future Hall of Famer made some bold claims based on past results instead of current performance. Sure, the New Orleans Pelicans do not get to the NBA Playoffs often, with just eight appearances in franchise history. This year's Pelicans squad is still a force to be reckoned with in the NBA Playoffs and that's why Green's words might come back to haunt the Golden State Warriors in the second to last game of the 2023-24 regular season.

The Western Conference's NBA Playoffs picture is still a bit murky, but the roles have been flipped for the Warriors and Pelicans this season. Steph Curry's Warriors are in a three-way tie for the eighth seed, which comes with two shots to advance out of the NBA Play-In Tournament. The Pelicans have suffered through those battles before and now Willie Green's squad is a couple of wins away from securing the sixth seed, which comes with a week of rest and time to scout a single opponent.

An April 12 date is the first chance for New Orleans to get some revenge on Golden State's no-stop garbage talker. A Pelicans win would be crippling to the Warriors chances of finishing seventh. Golden State would be mathematically eliminated from hosting a seventh versus eighth matchup against the Phoenix Suns.

Revenge? Yeah, revenge. Bally Sports color analyst and NBA veteran Antonio Daniels says it best on the broadcast: “If you stay petty, you ain't got to get petty.”

The New Orleans locker room remembers Draymond Green did a guest spot with the NBA on TNT crew during NBA All-Star Weekend. It was far from complimentary of the Pelicans. The Golden State star defender disagreed with Charles Barkley's assertion that no one wants to face New Orleans in the first round.

Green snapped back without looking at the NBA Standings, doubling down on the last part of the sentence when pressed by Barkley.

“(Zion Williamson) has definitely taken the next step,” Green allowed, “But I must say, I don't think anyone is worried about the New Orleans Pelicans.”

Pelicans and Warriors have NBA Playoffs history

New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) makes a shot over Golden State Warriors forward Dario Saric (20) in the fourth quarter at the Chase Center.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans has a history with Curry's Golden State dynasty in recent NBA Playoffs history. The Warriors swept the Pelicans in 2015 and took a five-game series in 2018. There is a familiarity with the fanbases in this usually one-sided affair. It looks like that's all about to change now that Willie Green is leading the small market upstart instead of sitting in an assistant chair behind Steve Kerr.

The Pelicans are 27-14 on the road. That's the most road wins for a season in franchise history with one trip to Golden State remaining. That trend should worry Draymond Green heading into the penultimate game. Sure, Curry poured in 42 points in New Orleans back in October 2023. The Pelicans had eight players in double figures for a 36-point road win in Golden State in January 2024.

The rubber match is a made-for-television revenge event. It could signal the end of a dynasty, or spark one last run from a trio of legends. Going off for a big game against Green is also another opportunity for Zion Williamson to win over any on-the-fence All-NBA voters.

The Pelicans' regular season finale is in New Orleans against the Los Angeles Lakers, also tied with the Warriors for eighth and fighting the Sacramento Kings to at least not finish 10th. How fitting would it be for Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram to finish off two of the ghosts that haunted previous editions of the team? Taking down Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Anthony Davis, and LeBron James would be a boost to the locker room's momentum.

Serving up those dishes seasoned with revenge should get Draymond Green's respect as well.