NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Coming off their most balanced scoring effort of the season Friday night in which four different Pelicans tallied at least 20 points, the team now embarks on a five-game road swing. New Orleans (18-18) is just 6-13 away from home, but the combined winning percentage of its next five opponents is a mere 33 percent.
"We need to prove that we can win on the road against these Eastern conference teams, and we can't take any of these teams lightly," forward Ryan Anderson said. "It's gonna be a challenge for us to stay focused and play hard and play the way we want every night. We just have to be consistent with our pace and our style of play."
Forward Dante Cunningham added, "You go into every arena every night, and it's us against everyone else in this arena. And that's kinda where everything comes together and just culminates to be a great team."
Games against Boston (12-23), Detroit (13-24) and Philadelphia (7-29) this week serve as a great opportunity for the .500 Pelicans to finally string some wins together and fight their way back into the top eight of the Western Conference standings.
"Coach always talks about separation, and that's what we need to do," guard Eric Gordon said. "Start getting a win streak here, so we can push ourselves to be a playoff team, and that's what we strive for."
Anderson added, "If we come back with a successful record in this road trip, it's gonna be huge for us and going forward this season. We need to prove that we can win these games."
Forward Quincy Pondexter, just acquired over the weekend, could make his Pelicans debut against the Celtics tonight. Pondexter played in New Orleans with the Hornets during his rookie season of 2010-2011, averaging just 2.8 points, but he brings a versatile skill set and some needed depth to the small forward rotation.
"The New Orleans Pelicans are thrilled to welcome back a high character person like Quincy Pondexter to our organization," said General Manager Dell Demps. "Quincy is a two-way player, a multi-position defender that will add toughness along with an offensive skill set that we anticipate will help the Pelicans win games."
The five-game road trip spans nine days and is the longest of the season. The team won't play at the Smoothie King Center again until Jan. 21.