The Anthony Davis effect is in full swing. After three years toiling in relative anonymity the New Orleans Pelicans superstar is coming to national television at a breakneck pace. In those first three seasons the Pelicans appeared just seven total nationally televised (on TNT or ESPN, not counting NBA TV broadcasts) games. That number is increasing dramatically to 13 games this season; five on TNT and eight on ESPN.
It all begins on opening night, where the Pelicans will hope to spoil the party as the Golden State Warriors raise their 2015 Championship banner on October 27th in the Oracle Arena. Head coach Alvin Gentry will be presented his championship ring during the proceedings but then it will be all business as he heads to the vistor's sideline. That game, the second of a TNT double header on opening night, will tip off at 9:30 PM local time.
In addition to that the Pelicans will also be playing on Christmas Day; this time on the road against the Miami Heat. That game begins a five game smorgasbord of basketball at 11:00 AM local time on ESPN. Following that game are the Chicago Bulls at the Oklahoma City Thunder (1:30 PM, ABC), the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Warriors (4:00 PM, ABC), the San Antonio Spurs at the Houston Rockets (7:00 PM, ESPN), and finally the Los Angeles Clippers "at" the Los Angeles Lakers (9:30 PM, ESPN).
Alvin Gentry and company will also be featured on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The Pelicans will travel up I-55 to face the Memphis Grizzlies at 1:30 PM on ESPN to lead off four games on January 18th. The other games will be Orlando Magic at the Atlanta Hawks (4:00 PM on NBA TV), the Warriors at the Cavs (7:00 PM on TNT), and the Rockets at the Clippers.
Here's a quick rundown of each nationally televised game and the rest each team will be playing on.
October 27th, at Golden State (9:30 PM, TNT)
Opening Night for both teams. They should be fresh.
November 18th, at Oklahoma City (7:00 PM, ESPN)
The Pelicans play the Denver Nuggets in New Orleans on the 17th. The Thunder will be fresh as they have the 17th off.
I am required to post this video.
November 20th, vs San Antonio (7:00 PM, ESPN)
Both teams are off on the 19th.
December 4th, vs Cleveland (8:30 PM, ESPN)
An unconventional start time for a home game. Both teams will be rested. The Pelicans have the 3rd off. The Cavs the 2nd and 3rd.
December 18th, at Phoenix (9:30 PM ESPN)
Both teams are off on the 17th.
December 25th, at Miami (11:00 AM, ESPN)
The entire NBA is off on Christmas Eve. Teams should be fresh.
January 18th, at Memphis (1:30 PM, ESPN)
Both teams are off on the 17th.
February 4th, vs Los Angeles Lakers (7:00 PM, TNT)
Pelicans play the Spurs in San Antonio on the 3rd. The Lakers are off. This is also Krewe of Muses night. This is a horrendous scheduling idea. It makes no sense.
February 11th, at Oklahoma City (7:00 PM, TNT)
Pelicans play the Jazz at home on the 10th. The Thunder have both the 9th and 10th off. Yes, the Pelicans travel to OKC twice with a severe rest disadvantage and are on national TV for both games. This is the last game before the All-Star Break.
February 25th, vs Oklahoma City (7:00 PM, TNT)
The Pelicans have the 24th off. The Thunder play at Dallas on the 24th. Three games against each other. The home team every time has a rest advantage.
March 2nd, at Houston (7:00 PM, ESPN)
Both teams are off on the 1st.
March 3rd, vs. San Antonio (7:00 PM, TNT)
Both teams play on the 2nd. The Spurs play the Pistons in San Antonio the night before.
March 14th, at Golden State (9:30 PM, ESPN)
Both teams are off on the 13th.
I cannot explain the Thursday night game against the Lakers scheduled against Muses. The Pelicans Mardi Gras road trip, if we can even call it that, is just two games long on Saturday (at Cleveland) and Monday (at Minnesota). The Ash Wednesday home game, against the Utah Jazz (on the second game of a back-to-back themselves) is nice. Getting away right afterward for the TNT game before the All-Star Break, against the Thunder, isn't very good either.
If there is one area the Pelicans need to try to solidify in their schedule, like San Antonio has with their Rodeo Road Trip, the Chicago Bulls with the Circus road trip, or the Lakers and Clippers with the Academy Awards road trip, it is to have a solid road trip during Mardi Gras. It really could survive being just a week or so long. Have their last home game the Monday before the parade schedule really kicks off, and stay out of town until Ash Wednesday. This shouldn't be terribly difficult for the NBA to accommodate or the Pelicans to communicate to the league.
We will have even more analysis on the schedule coming to our site soon.