New Orleans Pelicans: Scheduled wins and losses in the 2nd half

The New Orleans Pelicans have a leadership problem. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The New Orleans Pelicans have a leadership problem. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

The NBA released the second-half schedule on Wednesday. Here’s a look at some wins and losses we can already pencil in for the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelican’s schedule for the remainder of the season pits them against some teams for the first time this season. New Orleans gets their first opportunity to test their mettle against Eastern Conference powerhouses Philadephia and Brooklyn.

The Pels remaining schedule feels more East leaning to me, which is great news for predicted wins as there are currently only three teams with winning records on the other side of the Mississippi.

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What do I mean by scheduled wins and losses? Well, a scheduled win is when the Pels are playing a team on the second night of a back-to-back; and a scheduled loss is just the opposite.

Why are these games seen as losses? It’s simple, playing at least 48 minutes the night before playing another game is very tiring and coaches typically go to their bench more often and for more minutes during the second game of a back-to-back.

How did New Orleans fare in this department over the first 32 games? An expected record of 5-5 and an actual record of 5-5, which is not bad for my thesis. The Pels have one more scheduled loss against the Heat on the last game of the second half as well.

New Orleans Pelicans’ Schedule: 2nd half back-to-backs

Obviously, teams win and lose games they aren’t expected to and New Orleans is no different. Their first-half scheduled wins and losses equaled the projected results but there were a few wins that were written in as losses and losses that were penciled in as wins. We’ll get a chance to continue testing the scheduled losses early in the second half as New Orleans starts things off with a back-to-back right after the All-Star break.

Looking at the second half the New Orleans Pelicans have eight back-to-backs, two more than they had in the first half. That increase could be explained by the number of games the NBA had to move around because of the league’s health and safety protocols. So right now the Pelicans have eight scheduled losses for the second half. New Orleans plays Cleveland, Dallas, Atlanta, Brooklyn, Sacramento, Oklahoma City, Golden State, Memphis on the second night of a back-to-back.

Let’s take a look at scheduled wins for the rest of the year, but one oddity occurs in May. On Monday, May 3rd New Orleans welcomes Golden State to the Smoothie King Center and on Tuesday, May 4th the Warriors are back in the blender for the second night of a back-to-back. That means there is a scheduled win and a loss against the same team on the same date, not sure how to chalk that up in the early going.

The New Orleans Pelicans only get four scheduled wins in the second half, with games against the Lakers, Warriors, and Dallas twice. That’s a bit of a disparity in the number of back-to-backs New Orleans catches an opponent on versus the number of times the Pels get the short end of the stick. This doesn’t bode well for the team’s playoff chances as they already have a bit of a hole to dig themselves out of (as of this writing the Pels are three games out of eighth).

If New Orleans finished with a 4-7 record in these games, they’ll be right where I’m predicting. But, if they can manage to get closer to .500 in those games this fanbase should be happy with what they’re getting as the Pels would’ve outperformed the predictions.

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