Five things to know about the Pelicans on Dec. 27, 2017

by Jim Eichenhofer

1)      New Orleans (17-16) opens a key homestand tonight vs. Brooklyn at 7 p.m. Tickets are available here.

2)      Read more about the importance of three home games in the next four days for the Pelicans, who are in eighth place in the Western Conference.

3)      Speaking of the West, New Orleans has improved its foothold on top-eight status over the past week, with Utah (15-20) dropping to three games behind, by virtue of a Tuesday defeat in Denver. The Clippers (14-19) are now in a virtual tie with the Jazz for ninth place, also three games behind the Pelicans. Los Angeles is reportedly poised to get Blake Griffin back from injury soon, possibly this week. Portland (17-16) is technically ahead of New Orleans and in seventh in the West, but a Pelicans win tonight over Brooklyn would leapfrog them over the Trail Blazers by half of a game. Portland does not play again until Thursday, at home vs. Philadelphia on TNT. Fifth- and sixth-place Oklahoma City and Denver are both 19-15 and in action Wednesday, up 1.5 games on New Orleans entering a busy night around the West and the league.

4)      Watch Tuesday post-practice video interviews with DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo and Alvin Gentry.

5)      Listen to Tuesday’s Black and Blue Report, hosted by Chris Trew and dance team member Jenny.