Pels Scoop: Schedule

The Pels schedule is out, so I thought it might be useful to bring some guys together for some light schedule analysis.

1. Expected Record by Month







2. What do you think is the softest part of the Pels schedule?

Jake Madison: February seems to be the easiest part. The Pelicans do have a three game road trip but it is against the Sixers, Nets, and Pistons–all very winnable games. Throw in home games against the Pacers, Lakers, and Suns and the Pelicans have a good chance to go undefeated at home this month and pick up a few road wins.

Michael Pellissier:  February has a nice stretch of games for the Pels, right before the All-Star break.  In 6 games, the Pels get Utah, Indy, Philly, Brooklyn, Detroit, and the Lakers.  Despite playing on the road 3 times during this stretch, I think the Pels could go 5-1 or 6-0 to enter the All-Star break.

Shamit Dua: From February 5th to the end of March, the Pelicans have 24 games and I can see them winning 18 of them. Going 18-6 over any stretch is huge, but I think this particular portion of the schedule is a good one for the Pelicans to either gain ground or separation in the playoff race. Only 11 of them are road games with only a few being truly difficult (Cavs/Spurs). The tougher teams play the Pels at home where the Pels had a winning record even last year.

42: Merry Christmas. Orlando, Miami, Brooklyn, I hate Dallas, New York. They could win 6 of 5 factoring in the extra credit.

3. What do you think is the hardest part of the Pels schedule?

Jake Madison: There are a few places you could pick, but the end of March and all of April is a concern. The Pels end the third month of the year with games against Houston, Portland, and Cleveland, and then finish off the season with games against the Warriors, Clippers, Spurs, and Thunder. If the Pelicans are fighting for the 8th seed, this is the period which could knock them out of the playoffs.

Michael Pellissier: There are two tough stretches that I see.  The end of the season schedule is brutal, as Jake mentioned.  I think there’s also a really tough 8 game stretch for the Pels near the end of November, despite having a cupcake game vs. Phoenix.  In order, they play [OKC, Spurs, @Phx, @GS (B2B), vs. Minnesota, @ Utah, @ Portland (B2B), and GS].  All of their home games are against good teams, and Portland is traditionally tough to beat on the road.  At best, I think they go 4-4 during this stretch, and at worst, they could go 2-6.

Shamit: November 15- December 6. 11 games with 10 of them being against playoff teams or playoff contenders. It includes a brutal 4 games in 6 nights stretch that concludes with facing GSW on a back to back on their court. No bueno.

42: The opening stretch of 6. Legit tough games to win plus some games that invite distraction, all while the team may still be coming together and the microscope will be trained on the brass. I apparently have no fear of Orlando. Nice to know.

4. Where do you expect the Pels to finish in the West?

Jake Madison: The bottom 4 seeds is up for grabs between 7 or 8 teams which are all pretty close. Realistically, I think that puts them around the 7th or 8th seed in the conference with a realistic best-case scenario being the 6th seed. But because those seeds and teams are all so competitive I could see the Pelicans on the outside looking in–even if they have a winning record.

Michael Pellissier: I see them finishing between the 6th seed and the 9th seed, with 7th or 8th as their most realistic outcomes.  My baseline expectation is that they’re winning around 44 games, with better synergy/offense/depth putting their ceiling around 50.

Shamit: I’m bullish. I see a 5th seed and 51 wins. Though for bracket purposes I want them at the 6th seed, face the 3rd seed, and avoid GSW until the WCF in a perfect world. Am I getting ahead of myself? Absolutely. Is it August? My thermometer thinks so. Sometimes things are simple. In this case, Boogie and AD are simply better than what most Western teams have.

42: 7th.

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