Five things to know about the Pelicans on Feb. 5, 2018

by Jim Eichenhofer

1)      With just six games remaining before the All-Star break and two prior to Thursday’s NBA trade deadline, New Orleans (28-24) is in action tonight, hosting Utah (24-28) at 7 p.m. in the Smoothie King Center. Tickets are available here.

2)      Week 17 of the regular season is a busy one for New Orleans, consisting of four games over the next six days. Following Monday’s home tilt vs. the Jazz, the Pelicans will wrap up a two-game homestand Wednesday against Indiana (30-24). New Orleans departs Thursday in advance of a Friday game at Philadelphia (25-25), then faces Brooklyn (19-35) on Saturday in a back-to-back situation.

3)      Utah radio broadcaster David Locke will be a guest on Monday’s Black and Blue Report. The Jazz have won five straight games, pulling back into contention after things didn’t look very promising not long ago. Utah is 3.5 games behind eighth-place Denver (28-25) and only 4.0 behind New Orleans. The Pelicans and Jazz have split their season series 1-1 so far, with two games remaining in the Crescent City.

4)      Seventh-place New Orleans hasn’t received a ton of help lately behind them in the Western Conference standings, with Denver (half of a game behind the Pelicans) beating a few tough opponents and the ninth-place Clippers (26-25, 1.5 games behind NOLA) at 1-0 since Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley joined L.A. However, Oklahoma City’s four-game losing streak means New Orleans is only 1.0 game out of fifth place. Sixth-place Portland (29-24) could be surpassed Monday evening if the Trail Blazers lose in Detroit and the Pelicans defeat Utah.

5)      The Pelicans split a weekend road trip in OKC and Minnesota. Watch newcomer Nikola Mirotic’s postgame interview Saturday in Minneapolis, after he had 18 points and 12 rebounds in his NOLA debut.