The New Orleans Pelicans building a home court advantage

New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /

Despite their slow start and concerns about COVID, the New Orleans Pelicans are starting to build a home court advantage.

After last night’s last second win over the Timberwolves, the Pelicans are just 1.5 games back of the final play-in spot and have been gathering fans along the way.

Even though the Pelicans still have a losing record at home overall, fans have been treated to a 6-2 home record since December 10th.

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Former Pelican J.J. Redick once joked that there were only 12 Pelicans fans, which has become a rallying cry for the New Orleans faithful this season, who are showing up for their team this season even through all of the chaos.

The crowds may not be to capacity every night, but they are getting close, and the fans who have been showing up have provided the Pelicans with a raucous home court advantage that is working in their favor.

New Orleans Pelicans leading small-market teams in attendance

The New Orleans Pelicans are one of the smallest markets in the NBA, and have had a hard time consistently drawing fans from a demographic that has traditionally cared a lot more about football.

But that hasn’t been the case this season, as the Pels are 23rd in attendance by average and 21st overall, which might not seem great, but that represents over 90 percent capacity for every home game.

That puts them ahead of most of the other small market teams, no small feat considering they have a losing record and are missing Zion Williamson.

New Orleans seems to be responding to this group, as Willie Green has them playing hard every game, Brandon Ingram has stepped up as the star of the team and guys like Josh Hart and Herb Jones play with the kind of hustle and intensity that fans love.

Hart has noticed and had this to say about the crowds at SKC:

You can feel that the energy and culture around this team have changed as the Pelicans try to battle their way up the standings.

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