NBA Power Rankings: Will any team dethrone the Celtics or Nuggets in NBA Playoffs?

As we close the regular season, the Denver Nuggets and Boston Celtics appear on a collision course for the NBA Finals.
Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets
Boston Celtics v Denver Nuggets / Brendall O'Banon/Clarkson Creative/GettyImages
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11. New Orleans Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans have been a pleasant surprise in the Western Conference this season. In each of the last three seasons, the Pelicans have taken a step forward in every season, leading to their most wins since the 2017-18 campaign. The next big step for the Pelicans revolves around translating this regular season success into postseason success. That will be tested this season but their chance of making noise in the playoffs could fall on the shoulders of Brandon Ingram.

Ingram is still sidelined with an injury and while there's hope that he can make a return before the start of the NBA Playoffs, that's still far from a guarantee. But if he can make a return before the postseason, the Pelicans could be a problem for any top seed not named the Denver Nuggets.

Even though the outlook doesn't look great for the Pelicans in terms of potentially winning a first-round playoff series, the Pelicans are a team that can't be overlooked. Especially if Ingram is able to make a return before the start of the postseason.