It’s finally here: The 2017-18 NBA schedule has been released.
Most join in the belief that the New Orleans Pelicans need to hit the ground running, contrary to the sluggish starts of the past. However, at first glance, this schedule makes that a bit of a challenge.
#Pelicans have released their 2017-18 schedule. Check @CCSdaily tonight for my full analysis. pic.twitter.com/7Sm6iIYu4L— David Grubb (@DMGrubb) August 14, 2017
The Pelicans open the season with an October 18th matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies at the FedEx Forum. The home opener comes two days later, forcing the Pelicans into an early meeting with the reigning NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, and the following week sees the Cleveland Cavaliers come to town to play in the second home game.
Within the first twelve games of the season, eight are on the road. The road games during this stretch include: Grizzlies (opener), Lakers, Trail Blazers, Kings, Mavericks, Bulls, Pacers and Raptors.
The opening games of this season could easily be considered the toughest portion of the schedule — emerging out of preseason healthy and on the same page is going to be key! Even so, the same argument could be made for the end, as five of the last ten games are on the road (at Houston, at Cleveland, at Phoenix, at Golden State and at LA). In addition to that, throughout the season there are eleven back-to-backs, nine of which will come on the road.
Despite what may be considered one of the toughest schedules around the NBA, there are some promising moments. Late-December to mid-January shows the potential for a hot streak at home with games against Brooklyn, Dallas, New York, and Portland. Shortly after that, things ease up some moving into February. Racing to the finish, we will see what hopefully becomes a playoff form Pelicans team.
My initial reaction/prediction: 46-36, 6th seed in the West. What say you?