Five things to know about the Pelicans on Jan. 3, 2018

by Jim Eichenhofer

1)      New Orleans (18-18) opens a two-game Western Conference road trip tonight, visiting the Utah Jazz at 8 p.m. Central. Fox Sports New Orleans and WRNO 99.5 FM has pregame coverage at 7:30.

2)      Watch a video road trip preview for this week’s excursion to Salt Lake City and Minneapolis.

3)      Speaking of the West, the Pelicans’ lead in eighth place has been trimmed to just one game over the ninth-place Clippers (17-19), who beat Memphis in Staples Center on Tuesday. The Jazz (16-21) are in 10th place and 2.5 games behind the Pelicans, making Wednesday’s head-to-head matchup an important one for both teams. Utah leads the season series 1-0, posting a home victory over New Orleans on Dec. 1.

4)      As tight as the gap is between New Orleans and ninth place, it’s equally narrow in the other direction, with the Pelicans only 1.5 games behind fifth-place Oklahoma City (20-17). Denver (19-17) and Portland (19-18) are also a minimal winning streak away from being caught in the standings.

5)      The Pelicans won’t play at home again until Monday vs. Detroit. Check out their seven-game January home schedule in this tweet. The slate also includes games against fellow West playoff hopefuls Portland (Jan. 12) and the Clippers (Jan. 28).