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New Orleans Pelicans learn fate in Orlando restart, have easiest 8-game schedule among all 22 invited NBA teams

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There’s good reason for Zion Williamson and Lonzo Ball to smile!

Denver Nuggets v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

The New Orleans Pelicans eight “seeding” games in Orlando are no longer a mystery.

Announced on ESPN by the NBA Countdown crew, the Pelicans will kick things off on July 30th against the Utah Jazz at 5:30 p.m. Central, and that’ll be followed by a list of opponents which were all also on the Pelicans 18-game remaining schedule before the league suspended the season due to the coronavirus.

This is really good news. The Pelicans will be able to partially control their destiny, with two matchups against the Kings and one versus the Spurs and Grizzlies each, and the schedule features only two teams with records above .500.

Considering that eight teams with the poorest records in the league are staying home, it’s impressive that New Orleans list of opponents have a combined winning percentage under .500. If I’m not mistaken, the Pelicans are the only team with such a privilege.

Before too many cry wolf, realize that New Orleans original remaining schedule before the COVID-19 shutdown was incredibly easy, featuring only three of 18 opponents with winning records.

As for the Memphis Grizzlies, their remaining schedule is stacked with three opponents in hot pursuit of the eighth seed in the Western Conference and five playoff-caliber teams.

Fingers crossed every key contributor makes the trip to Orlando, but Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday and the rest of the crew have a pretty good opportunity of at least triggering the play-in tournament, possibly even earning themselves a trip to the 2020 playoffs.

Stay tuned for more reactions on The Bird Writes, including an emergency podcast!