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2019-20 New Orleans Pelicans Schedule: As Josh Hart said, “30!! We lit!”

The Bird Calls Podcast: A franchise record for appearances on national tv, but the first half of the schedule is daunting.

2019 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The 2019-20 regular season schedules were released across the league yesterday, and the vast majority of immediate reactions by New Orleans fans were super positive — the Pelicans are going to appear on national television a grand total of 30 times.

In case you’re wondering, that does indeed establish a new franchise record. Moreover, it tops last year’s count of national appearances by 10, a season that was fresh off a sweep of the Trail Blazers in the first round of the 2018 playoffs.

Included among the 30 national appearances are a couple of games on ABC (January 18th versus the Clippers and February 2nd against the Rockets). These two contests are kind of a big deal.

Apparently, the NBA and their biggest sponsors are more than ready to take the Zion Williamson plunge despite the fact that the Pelicans are coming off a disappointing 33-49 finish last season!

However, before getting too excited, realize an enormous challenge lies ahead for the new group surrounding Jrue Holiday. According to the Vegas over/under lines, the Pelicans have the fourth most difficult schedule, and when delving deeper, no team has a tougher slate of games prior to the All-Star break than, of course, New Orleans.

In addition, to facing The Pelicans will encounter 12 back-to-backs, with nine of them taking place on the road on the second night. For a point of reference, New Orleans dealt with 13 back-to-backs last season, posting a less than stellar 3-10 record on the second night. (Six of those contests came on the road.)

To hear more about the schedule, our favorite games, how David Griffin should approach the trade deadline and more, please listen to David Grubb, Mike Delayo, David Fisher and myself on the latest edition of our podcast.