New Orleans Pelicans’ 2023-24 Regular Season Schedule Announced

The New Orleans Pelicans learned their fate Thursday as the NBA unveiled the 2023-24 regular-season schedule for all 30 teams.

Following a four-game preseason schedule, the Pelicans will open the regular season on the road against arguably their biggest division rival, the Memphis Grizzlies, on Oct 25.

It is important to note that Ja Morant will not be on the basketball court as he begins serving a 25-game suspension handed down by the NBA last June.

The first contest in Memphis will be proceeded by four of the next five games taking place in New Orleans, with the home opener coming against the New York Knicks on Oct. 28.

The favorable stretch continues as 12 of the first 20 games will be held inside the Smoothie King Center. This includes six consecutive games at home in the middle of November that features juicy matchups against the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings not once but twice.

Carrying a roster that is nearly identical to last season’s edition, reasonable hope should exist that the Pelicans can get off to another strong start in the standings. They posted one of the Western Conference’s best 2022-23 home records at 27-14.

The heaviest portion of away games occur in January and February, where the Pelicans will play a total of 16 times on the road. The longest road trip consists of five games in early January, with stops in Sacramento, Golden State, Denver and Dallas twice.

Two four-game road trips will follow in February and March.

After a second six-game home stand in late March/early April, the Pelicans wrap up the regular season with four of their final five games on the road. If those contests get classified as must-wins, the journey promises could prove difficult: in Phoenix, in Portland, in Sacramento, in Golden State and at home against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Pelicans will face Eastern Conference foes a mere nine times during the first half of the season, with an additional 21 matchups occurring from Jan. 17 onwards. The Pelicans will have a nine-game stretch against teams exclusively from the East (Feb. 23 – Mar. 13) after the All-Star break.

While the Pelicans are scheduled to play a total of 13 back-to-back sets, three of them will not require travel as they’ll be of home-and-home variety: Nov. 17-18 (Nuggets, Timberwolves), Feb. 22-23 (Rockets, Heat) and Mar. 15-16 (Clippers, Trail Blazers).

Several regular season games in December are yet to be determined as The In-Season Tournament takes precedence between Dec. 4-9. Pending how they fare in four November matchups, the Pelicans could appear in either two regular season games or in The In-Season Tournament knockout rounds, or a combination of both.

The Pelicans will be featured on TNT and ESPN for a total of six games (none on ABC), with another six appearances slated for NBA TV. So in total, the Pelicans will play on national television a combined 12 times, their lowest total since the start of the Zion Williamson era.

Of course, the national television schedule is subject to change as conditions could warrant the Pelicans of either being added or subtracted barring the importance of individual matchups as the season progresses.

While regular season schedules play an important factor in win-loss records, remember it is not the end all be all. Health — having one’s best players as available as possible — is usually the most determinative element for team success. For instance, if Brandon Ingram and Williamson appear in significantly more matchups than last season’s combined 74-game total, the Pelicans should be favored to improve upon their 42-40 overall record.

For more Pelicans talk, subscribe to The Bird Calls podcast feed on iTunesSpotifyStitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @OlehKosel.


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