The New Orleans Pelicans aren’t concerned about hitting the road this preseason.
After conducting a five-day training camp at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, the team will embark on a preseason schedule that includes seven games in six states. It features only one home date in the Smoothie King Center — the preseason finale on Oct. 23 against the Miami Heat — and stretches over 20 days.
The Pelicans will start the exhibition schedule by wrapping up its five-day training camp in West Virginia and travelling directly to Indianapolis on Oct. 3, for a contest against the Pacers.
Then, New Orleans plays just two games over the next 12 days, allowing ample time for the Pelicans to return to their facility on Airline Drive and participate in practices similar to training-camp under new coach Alvin Gentry.
Two of New Orleans’ home preseason dates will be on neutral courts, with the first coming against the Atlanta Hawks in Jacksonville, Florida, on Oct. 9 and the other against the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 17 in Lexington, Kentucky.
The latter is a homecoming to Kentucky’s Rupp Arena, not only for Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis, who won the 2012 national championship with UK, but also for Kings’ stars DeMarcus Cousins, Willie Cauley-Stein and Rajon Rondo. All of them starred for the Wildcats.
It kicks off a busy final week of the exhibition season, which includes four games, in four states, over a six-day period.
After the hectic run to end preseason, the Pelicans will have less than a week off before opening the season on national television against the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors on Oct. 27 at Oracle Arena.
This is the first time since re-branding the team from Hornets to Pelicans that the franchise hasn’t held a preseason game in a local area outside of New Orleans. In 2013 the Pelicans travelled to Biloxi, Mississippi, for one game, and last year they played a preseason contest in Bossier City.
“I’m excited to get started,” Davis said in a July teleconference. “I’m happy to have everybody back together because I think this team can be something special and we can really come together.”