NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The New Orleans Pelicans (31-43) have eight games remaining on the schedule and sit 4.5 games back from the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. Wednesday night begins their final home stand of the season, and it's their schedule down the stretch that works in their favor most.
Not only are seven of their last eight games against against teams below .500, but they also have four games against teams that sit between them and the eighth seed. They begin with Dallas (31-42) on Wednesday, and then next week, the Pelicans have back-to-back games against Denver (35-38). They end the season in Portland (35-38), which has a significant chance of being "win and get in" type of game if Alvin Gentry and company handle business leading up to the season finale.
The biggest thing working against New Orleans is their record against their remaining teams. As you'd expect from the 31-43 Pelicans, they're just 6-10 this season against Dallas (1-2), Sacramento (0-2), Denver (1-1), Golden State (0-3), Los Angeles Lakers (2-1) and Portland(2-1).
This is where they have to prove they're the team that can tap into their potential. Quite frankly, jobs could depend on it. Coach Gentry has to at least prove that Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins have the potential to be a true force. Beyond that, the franchise has to move in the right direction, period.