New Orleans Pelicans schedule: First game could kick off new rivalry

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets (Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports)
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets (Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports) /

The New Orleans Pelicans and the rest of the NBA will release their 2022-23 schedules today, though we have already gotten a preview of some of the early matchups.

The Pelicans will not be getting a Christmas Day game yet, though with Zion Williamson coming back, they should earn that right soon.

But they will have one of the most interesting opening night games according to Shame Charnia and Will Guillory:

The New Orleans Pelicans will take on the Brooklyn Nets in the first game of the season, which is not the soft start to the schedule I was hoping for, but should be a great game that could kick off a new rivalry.

New Orleans Pelicans: Zion Williamson vs. Ben Simmons

One of the most interesting subplots of this opening night game is the matchup between two former #1 picks trying to make comebacks.

Zion Williamson missed all of last season with a foot injury and Ben Simmons held out before having mental health and back issues, also missing the entire season.

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Both players will be eager to silence the critics and will likely be defending each other at times, which could lead to some fun moments.

With both of these guys trying to dunk on each other’s heads and give their fans reason to be optimistic, this could end up being an intense game even though it’s the first of the season.

Brandon Ingram vs. Kevin Durant

It’s possible that Kevin Durant won’t even be playing for the Nets by the time the season kicks off, as he has demanded a trade (shocker) and reportedly plans on holding out.

Maybe we should just let Kevin Durant hand pick his teammates every year to ensure he is happy 100 percent of the time?

The Pelicans have been mentioned in trade rumors for Durant, though made it clear that they were not trading Brandon Ingram to get it done.

Even though his team never put him on the table, the trade rumors have to annoy Ingram, especially when the guy involved is 10 years older than him and BI is coming off one of his best seasons.

I think Ingram is going to be eager to show why the Pelicans have no interest in trading him and that his name should be mentioned along with the superstars.

The Pels will also want to put the league on notice that they are a team to be reckoned with by beating Durant’s Nets on the road in the first game.

All of this drama should make for a good game with a lot of interesting side stories to watch and could kick off a rivalry between two unlikely teams.

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