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Can the Pelicans find their early season road magic in Philadelphia?

New Orleans hasn’t enjoyed a big road victory since the opening month

Philadelphia 76ers v New Orleans Pelicans Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

Since winning their first two games on the road to open the season, the New Orleans Pelicans have struggled to notch W’s away from the Smoothie King Center, going 5-9 while posting a -1.5 net rating.

That'll be the task for this Monday night though, when the Pelicans battle the 76ers on their home floor in Philadelphia.

It’s not unusual to see vastly different home and away splits, even for the better teams in the league. Only four squads have winning away records overall (Nets, Celtics, Knicks, Nuggets) and no one has been dominant.

The Pelicans most impressive road victory to date is either the season opener in Brooklyn or the Oct. 30 win in Los Angeles against the Clippers.

So it’s been awhile.

One factor that might change the road trend for New Orleans is facing Philly for the second time in four days. It’s unclear how many adjustments Doc Rivers and their coaching staff can implement since the Pelicans’ 127-116 win last Friday. The 76ers played on Saturday and then Joel Embiid was listed as questionable earlier today on their injury report.

On the flip side, James Harden, Tyrese Maxey and PJ Tucker all sat out the OKC contest but are no longer on the injury report. We should expect for that trio to look recharged against the Pelicans.

Willie Green will, once again, be without Brandon Ingram (left great toe contusion) and Larry Nance Jr. (neck spasm).

CJ McCollum (42 points, 11 threes) and Zion Williamson (36 points) were special against the 76ers only days ago; however, more will likely be asked of them and their teammates. And they’ll have to do it without SKC faithful in their corner.

Who: New Orleans Pelicans (23-13) at Philadelphia 76ers (21-14)

When: January 2, 2023, 6:00 p.m. CT

Where to watch: Bally Sports New Orleans, League Pass

Where to listen: WRNO 99.5

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