The New Orleans Pelicans are the NBA’s hottest team. They have won four in a row and 8-of-10 overall to propel themselves to the two seed, just a half game behind the first-place Phoenix Suns.
They’ve gotten wins in a variety of ways, as their starting lineup has only played 10 games together, so it’s been the bench and unsung heroes carrying the Pelicans along with a recent surge from Zion Williamson.
Herbert Jones and Brandon Ingram are still out, but New Orleans hasn’t missed a beat in their absence and is under no pressure to rush them back until they are ready.
All of their talent and depth is going to be put to the test in in upcoming stretch of seven games that could end with them atop the Western Conference.
New Orleans Pelicans schedule: A weird 7-game stretch
The New Orleans Pelicans won’t play until tomorrow, when they welcome cellar-dweller Detroit to the Smoothie King Center. The Pistons will be on the second game of a road back-to-back and are still missing their best player, so that is a game the Pelicans absolutely have to win, especially with what is coming next.
- vs Phoenix
- vs Phoenix
- @ Utah
- @ Utah
- @ Phoenix
- vs Milwaukee
The Pels will face Phoenix twice at home with the 1st seed in the Western Conference on the line. Then they will travel to Utah, which has always been a tough game for New Orleans, to play the Jazz twice on the road.
They will then travel to Phoenix for their third game against the Suns before returning home to face one of the Eastern Conference elite in Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Pelicans have already lost to the Suns once and these will be their last games with them, so they could end up being crucial in seeding later in the season.
New Orleans is rolling on both ends right now, so this is as good a time as any for this weird stretch of the schedule, which will have them playing some of the best teams in the NBA, including the one just ahead of them in the standings.
The Western Conference could look much different after December 19th, when the Pelicans schedule starts to lighten up a bit. This will be a crucial stretch for the team that is going to test their depth and resolve. The Pels will get a chance to show that they belong in the conversation as contenders in the West.