When the 2019-20 season resumes on July 30, NBA fans will have their collective eye on the New Orleans Pelicans. Currently tied for ninth in the Western Conference standings, New Orleans has a legitimate shot at making the postseason.
With a healthy Zion Williamson, the Pelicans can play with anyone. They will face Utah on July 30, the first of eight remaining “seeding” games. The Jazz has beaten New Orleans in two of three games this season, but the Pelicans Brandon Ingram has given Utah fits.
What time does Jazz vs. Pelicans game start?
The New Orleans Pelicans will take Utah Jazz for the first game of NBA restart on Thursday, July 30 at 6:30 p.m ET at the Disney World Campus. The matchup will air on TNT TV channel.
Ingram, the Pelicans leading scorer averaging 24.3 points per game, has scored 33, 35, and 49 in the three games against Utah. In the last game in January, Ingram erupted for 49 points as the Pelicans won 138-132 in overtime.
As it stands currently, the Jazz has already clinched a playoff berth. Utah sits in fourth place in the Western Conference standings. They are a game ahead of Oklahoma City and a game and a half behind the third-place Denver Nuggets.
The big question for the July 30 meeting with Utah is whether or not Zion Williamson will be back. The Pelicans star, who averages 23.6 points and 6.8 rebounds a game, left the NBA bubble in Orlando to deal with a family issue. Upon returning, he will have to follow league protocol which calls for a 48-hour quarantine.
For Utah, both Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert have both recovered from their bouts with COVID-19. Mitchell leads the Jazz averaging 24.2 points per game. Gobert, last year’s NBA Defensive Player of the Year, is averaging 15.1 points, 13.7 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game.
New Orleans has more at stake on July 30 as the Pelicans will need to separate themselves from both Portland and Sacramento. All three teams enter the restart 3.5 games behind eighth-place Memphis.
The Pelicans have one advantage over Portland and the Kings – they have the easiest remaining schedule of all 22 teams in Orlando. New Orleans will need to finish ahead of Portland though. If the Pelicans and Trail Blazers end up tied after the eight “seeding” games, Portland would win the tiebreaker.
Should New Orleans end up ninth and within four games of Memphis, that will force a two-game play-in tournament. The Pelicans would have to beat the Grizzlies twice to earn the No. 8 seed. New Orleans beat Memphis twice during the regular season, winning both games by double-digit margins. If the Pelicans can hold onto the ninth place, there is a good chance they can reach the postseason.
For the Jazz, it’s just a matter of what seed. Utah would prefer to remain at least fourth and have home-court advantage against the No. 5 seed in the first round of the postseason.
How To Watch
When: Thursday at 6:30 p.m ET
Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena — Salt Lake City, Utah
Live streaming: fuboTV (Try for free)
New Orleans Pelicans Schedule
vs. Utah Jazz on Thursday, July 30 (6:30 p.m, TNT)
vs. LA Clippers on Saturday, August 1 (6 p.m, ESPN)
vs. Memphis Grizzlies on Monday, August 3 (6:30 p.m, ESPN)
vs. Sacramento Kings on Thursday, August 6 (1:30 p.m, NBA TV)
vs. Washington Wizards on Friday, August 7 (8 p.m.)
vs. San Antonio Spurs on Sunday, August 9 (3 p.m, ABC)
vs. Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, August 11 (9 p.m, TNT)
vs. Orlando Magic on Thursday, August 13 (TBD)
Utah Jazz Schedule
vs. New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday, July 30 (6:30, TNT)
vs. Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, August 1 (3:30, ESPN)
vs. Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, August 3 (9 p.m., ESPN)
vs. Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, August 5 (2:30 p.m.)
vs. San Antonio Spurs on Friday, August 7 (1 p.m.)
vs. Denver Nuggets on Saturday, August 8 (3:30 p.m, TNT)
vs. Dallas Mavericks on Monday, August 10 (3 p.m., NBA TV)
vs. San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, August 13 (TBD)