New Orleans Pelicans Schedule: There’s No Place Like Home

Apr 11, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; A general overview of the Smoothie King Center during the game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Chicago Bulls. The Bulls won 121-116. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 11, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; A general overview of the Smoothie King Center during the game between the New Orleans Pelicans and Chicago Bulls. The Bulls won 121-116. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans will have to wait until January for a six game home stand, their longest of the season.

The New Orleans Pelicans will go through a six game home stretch in the month of January. This amounts to the longest homestand of the Pelicans’ season.

During this stretch,  they will face the Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs and Washington Wizards. This section of the schedule could prove to be very trying, as it is mixed with established teams that have the potential to make improvements this season.

Squaring off against Orlando on January 18th, the Pelicans will be looking to avenge their 0-2 series record versus the Magic last season. It could be more difficult this upcoming season, as the Magic have added Serge Ibaka and Bismack Biyombo to shore up their front court.

The development of Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton could also play a factor as well, but lack of spacing will be an issue for Orlando. With Evan Fournier being their main threat from beyond the arc, there will not be many threes shot by the Magic.

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Guard play could be a deciding factor for the Pelicans, as they have the advantage in depth with Jrue Holiday, Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans and E’Twaun Moore serving as main cogs in their perimeter rotation. Another exciting matchup will pit Anthony Davis versus the front court of Biyombo, Nikola Vucevic, Ibaka, and Gordon.

When the Pelicans take the court to face the Brooklyn Nets on January 20th, it should serve as the easiest matchup for them during the home stretch. The Nets have undergone many changes this offseason and lost to the Pelicans in both of their outings during the 2015-2016 season.

Coming off a 21-61 season with little roster upgrades made, a healthy Pelicans team led by Anthony Davis should be just fine in this game.

Facing the Cleveland Cavaliers on the 23rd of January will be a major test for the Pelicans. The Cavaliers are coming off a championship season and have the same roster back, for the most part. This game will also serve as a matchup between two of the best talents in the NBA in LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Not to mention the Cavaliers have Kyrie Irving running the point. Holiday, Evans, and others will have to step up big time in order for the Pelicans to be victorious, because any game versus the champs is not going to come easy.

A bout versus the Oklahoma City Thunder should prove to be very exciting. This game, which will take place on January 25th, has all the makings of a shootout. When factoring in the backcourt tandem of Russell Westbrook and Victor Oladipo going toe to toe versus Evans, Hield and Holiday; this makes the game even more exciting. Anthony Davis will also spend the game going against Steven Adams and Enes Kanter for a vast majority of the game.

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Two teams full of young, exciting players has all the makings of a must see game. Westbrook and Anthony Davis are also MVP candidates, so it will be a great to see how they will perform against each other.

When the Pelicans take the court for their fifth game of the stretch, they will be taking on the San Antonio Spurs. Against a division opponent and one of the top tier teams in the league, this game will be a big challenge and could be a playoff determinant for the Pelicans. Although the Spurs are coming off a disappointing playoff exit, you can never count out Head Coach Greg Popovich’s squad. The tandem of Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge is a force to be reckoned with and will be looking to control this game.

The Pelicans can not make too many mistakes, as they can prove to be costly. It will also be interesting to see Davis face off against Aldridge in the post. Coming off a 1-3 series vs San Antonio in the 2015-2016 season, the Pelicans will be looking towards more success. A healthy Holiday and Evans will prove to be very beneficial, as injuries were a big factor in struggles last year.

Capping off the six game stretch, the Pelicans will welcome the Washington Wizards into the Smoothie King Center. Falling to the Wizards 109-89 last year, the Pelicans will be looking for a different outcome. Both teams will be looking towards rebounding from lackluster seasons. The Wizards have one of the best backcourt duos in the league in John Wall and Bradley Beal, so the Pelicans backcourt of Holiday and Evans will have their hands full. Anthony Davis will square off down low against Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat. The backcourt bout between these teams will be a main factor, which will prove to be an exciting event to view.

Next: New Orleans Pelicans Schedule: December will Test the Pelicans

This stretch will be full of NBA stars and up-and-coming players. The New Orleans Pelicans will be going into this season looking towards experiencing better luck with injuries. A decimated roster led to a lack of success last year. If the roster they have can stay healthy and establish chemistry, this stretch will not be as tough as expected and a playoff berth could become a possibility for the Pelicans, if they play up to their potential.