NBA Schedule: 5 early season tests for the New Orleans Pelicans

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers. Herb Jones, New Orleans Pelicans (Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers. Herb Jones, New Orleans Pelicans (Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports) /

After a strong finish last April, the New Orleans Pelicans look to continue their excellent play into the 2022-23 season. Unfortunately for New Orleans, their schedule early in the year will be far from a cakewalk.

The Pelicans need to avoid the slow start that hampered the 2021-22 season, but it won’t be easy.

Here are five early tests for the New Orleans Pelicans.

New Orleans Pelicans’ schedule: The early tests

@ Brooklyn Nets 10/19/22
The first game of the season is a big one for the Pelicans. The Pels travel to Brooklyn to take on the Nets’ trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and Ben Simmons.

Despite how they finished last season, the Nets are loaded with talent.

Kevin Durant is viewed by many as the best player in the world. Kyrie Irving is a top point guard in the league, and Ben Simmons (when he plays) is an All-Star-level talent.

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Additionally, Brooklyn has owned New Orleans in recent years. In their last seven meetings, Brooklyn is 7-0.

A win on opening night would be huge for the New Orleans Pelicans and could set the tone for this season.

@ Phoenix Suns 10/28/22

In game five, the Pelicans get a shot at revenge.

The Suns expect to continue their top-tier level of play next season. Phoenix returns their core of Booker, Paul, Ayton, and Bridges hoping to make another run at the NBA Finals.

Like Brooklyn, Phoenix’s 2021 season is considered by many to be a disappointment due to the team’s collapse in round two of the NBA playoffs.

After a highly emotional playoff series, this will certainly be a high-energy matchup.

@ LA Clippers 10/30/22

This is not the same Clippers team the Pelicans matched up against in the play-in tournament. This Clippers team is loaded.

The Clippers were plagued with injuries for a majority of the 2021 season. Star Kawhi Leonard was out the entire season with an ACL Injury. Co-star Paul George also missed significant time, including the play-in game against New Orleans.

Assuming LA is at full strength, the Pelicans will be in for a tough battle.

@ LA Lakers 11/2/22

It was not too long ago when the Lakers ruled the NBA. However, injuries and poor front office decisions turned the Lakers into one of the league’s worst teams in 2022.

Nevertheless, Lebron James and Anthony Davis are still very good at basketball.

The Pelicans match up well with LA but defending those two will be an issue all night. Both have the potential to erupt for a huge game.

The key to victory for New Orleans is containing both James and Davis. While it is no easy feat, it has been done before.

vs. Golden State 11/4/22

Fresh off their fourth championship in seven years, the Golden State Warriors will be a massive test for New Orleans.

The reigning champs will pose problems on both sides of the ball. The Warriors are known by many for their terrific offense, but last season the team was great defensively as well. The Warriors finished 1st in defensive rating and 3rd in opponents points per game.

Like the Lakers, guarding Steph Curry will also be a problem for New Orleans. Curry can light up the opposing defense any night he steps on the floor.

The Pelicans can beat this Golden State squad, but they will need to be on their A game.

With Zion Williamson returning to a playoff roster, excitement is at an all-time high for the New Orleans Pelicans, but they will have to prove themselves early in the season.

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