The NBA released the schedules for Disney and the New Orleans Pelicans will be featured in the very first game, but how will they fare in Orlando?
When the season was suspended the New Orleans Pelicans were 3.5 games behind the Grizzlies for the 8th seed in the Western Conference.
They still had two more head-to-head matchups with Memphis and had the league’s easiest remaining schedule. If the season had been played in full, the Pelicans would have had a good chance to catch Memphis.
So when the NBA announced the schedules for Disney yesterday, it was no surprise that the Pelicans were given the easiest eight game schedule, at least on paper.
But we all know games aren’t played on paper, so you can throw records out the window. Every team enters Orlando 0-0 and the Pelicans will have to take care of business if they want to leapfrog Portland and hold off Sacramento and San Antonio.
Because of a wonky rule that uses winning percentage as a tiebreaker, the New Orleans Pelicans will have to beat Portland by at least one game to force a play-in series against the Grizzlies.
In other words, if the Pelicans want to make the playoffs, it’s likely they will have to beat Memphis five times. The Pels have won two already, will need to beat Memphis when they face off in Disney and if they can force a play-in series, will have to beat them two in a row to grab the 8th seed.
Any Memphis fans who think the league is favoring Zion Williamson can think again. The Pelicans’ road to the playoffs is arguably far more difficult than if they had been able to just finish the season.
In my opinion, the New Orleans Pelicans will have to go at least 5-3 to have a chance to get ahead of Portland, who has a more difficult schedule.
Are there five wins on this schedule for the Pelicans? Let’s take a look.