Every NBA team’s full schedule for the upcoming 2023-24 season is public knowledge now, and people can’t stop talking about how their team drew the short straw (as fans, it’s in our nature to be miserable).
And if we’re being honest here, I’m sure the league does its best to make every team’s schedule as fair as possible. However, with so many different teams, in so many different cities, making sure that every team’s schedule is completely fair all season is a nearly impossible task.
And as a result, there are pockets of the season where your team may have it incredibly easy, and there are moments where it might feel like hell.
For our New Orleans Pelicans, the latter part of the schedule is going to take place from January 3rd to January 19th. During that stretch, New Orleans has nine games to play. Six of those contests will be on the road, and eight of them will be against teams that project to be vying for a playoff spot this upcoming season. Here is what the schedule looks like during that time period:
Tough Part of New Orleans Pelicans 2023-24 Schedule
January 3rd @ Minnesota Timberwolves
January 5th versus Los Angeles Clippers
January 7th @ Sacramento Kings
January 10th @ Golden State Warriors
January 12th @ Denver Nuggets
January 13th @ Dallas Mavericks
January 15th @ Dallas Mavericks
January 17th versus Charlotte Hornets
January 19th versus Phoenix Suns
Not only do the Pelicans have to deal with six of the eight teams that made the Western Conference Playoffs last season in the span of sixteen days (one of whom is the defending NBA champions), but they also have a five-game road trip baked in there for good measure (spanning from the 7th until the 15th). On top of that, while the Dallas Mavericks didn’t make the playoffs last year, they are sporting a new and improved roster (that is still headlined by superstar Luka Doncic).
There are two saving graces to this cluster of the schedule. First, they only have one back-to-back to play during this stretch (on January 12th and 13th). And second, they do get a mini break slotted in there when they have to play the Charlotte Hornets at home before hosting the Phoenix Suns. Although, being the Hornets are still an NBA team, the term ‘break’ is used lightly here.
Time will ultimately tell whether or not our Pelicans survive this treacherous stretch of the schedule.