Pelicans to open the 2014-15 season against Orlando at the Smoothie King Center on Oct. 28

By the time the New Orleans Pelicans get some traction on their 2014-15 NBA schedule, they definitely will be road tested.

The NBA released teams’ schedules at 5 p.m. Wednesday, and the Pelicans open the season at home against the Orlando Magic on Tuesday, Oct. 28, followed by a home game against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, Nov. 1.

And, highlights include home games against LeBron James, Kevin Love and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Dec. 12 and the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs on Dec. 26.

“We can’t wait to get the season started and show everyone how hard our team has been working this offseason,” said Pelicans owner/chairman of the board Tom Benson.

The schedule’s early going is marked by the amount of games the Pelicans have away from Smoothie King Center. Seven of New Orleans’ first 12 games are on the road and 13 of its first 21. The Pelicans will play nine of 11 games on the road between Nov. 17 and Dec. 7.

New Orleans (34-48) was 12-29 on the road in 2013-14 season, including 4-11 before a spate of injuries ravaged its season.

Among the early road games this season, the Pelicans play at the Spurs on Nov. 8 before facing and the Cavaliers on Nov. 10 in consecutive games.

December will warm up for Pelicans fans. Home games feature the Oklahoma City Thunder and league MVP Kevin Durant and All-Star guard Russell Westbrook on Tuesday, Dec. 2, Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks on Dec. 9 and the attraction of the season on the 12th when the Cavs come to town. Then, it’s the Spurs the day after Christmas.

An early home game will be the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant on Nov. 12, immediately after the back-to-back road games against the Spurs and Cavaliers.

The highlight of January will be the Pelicans’ game on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 19, which will be at New York. That game will end a road trip of five games in eight nights against Eastern Conference teams — at Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Toronto and New York from Jan. 12-19. The game at Toronto will be a 3:30 Sunday matinee and will come the day before the MLK game at New York.

Another highlight for home fans is on March 4, when the Detroit Pistons come to town featuring New Orleanians Greg Monroe and D.J. Augustin, who signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the team in July.

If the Pelicans, with center Omer Asik joining All-Star power forward Anthony Davis, point guard Jrue Holiday and guard Tyreke Evans, are in playoff contention as expected, April, the last month of the season, could be tough.

New Orleans will play nine games in April, but six are on the road. Of the home games, the Pelicans will face the Golden State Warriors and guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson on April 7, the resurgent Phoenix Suns on April 10, and the Spurs to end the season on April 15.

Even though the Pelicans will have an early spate of games on the road, that likely will not be their toughest stretch. From Dec. 18 to Jan. 9, New Orleans will play what could be an early make-or-break slate of 12 games in which 11 are against teams who made the playoffs last season.

A particularly brutal stretch will be at Oklahoma City on Dec. 21, at Indiana two days later, then a back-to-back vs. San Antonio on Dec. 26 at Smoothie King and at Chicago on Dec. 27. The only game among the 12 that is not against a playoff team is against tough Phoenix on Dec. 30, and the Pelicans play San Antonio the next night on New Year’s Eve.

Overall, through Jan. 9, 24 of the Pelicans’ 36 games are against playoff teams from last season. After that date, 24 of their remaining 46 games are against playoff teams.

February has back-to-back games at home vs. OKC on the 4th and at the Thunder on the 6th, followed by the Bulls the next night at Smoothie King.

March might be the team’s most favorable month, schedule-wise. Among the 15 games, the Pelicans play eight against teams which did not make the playoffs, including Milwaukee twice.

Ten Pelicans games will be nationally televised, although one each on ESPN (vs. the Miami Heat on Feb. 27) and TNT (at Golden State on Dec. 4). The rest of the nationally televised games will be on NBA TV — (at San Antonio, Nov. 8; Utah, Nov. 22; Washington, Jan. 5; at Boston, Jan. 12; vs. Atlanta, Feb. 2, vs. Chicago, Feb. 7, vs. Toronto, Feb. 23; and at Houston, April 12.

The MLK Day game also usually is nationally televised.

The Pelicans will announce their local Fox Sports New Orleans schedule at a later date.

OCTOBER

Tue. 28 Orlando 7 p.m.

NOVEMBER

Sat. 1 Dallas 6 p.m.

Mon. 3 at Memphis 7 p.m.

Tue. 4 Charlotte 7 p.m.

Sat. 8 at San Antonio 7:30 p.m.

Mon. 10 at Cleveland 6 p.m.

Wed. 12 L.A. Lakers 7 p.m.

Fri. 14 Minnesota 7 p.m.

Mon. 17 at Portland 9 p.m.

Tue. 18 at Sacramento 9 p.m.

Fri. 21 at Denver 8 p.m.

Sat. 22 at Utah 8 p.m.

Tue. 25 Sacramento 7 p.m.

Fri. 28 at Atlanta 6:30 p.m.

Sat. 29 at Washington 6 p.m.

DECEMBER

Tue. 2 Oklahoma City 7 p.m.

Thu. 4 at Golden State 9:30 p.m.

Sat. 6 at L.A. Clippers 9:30 p.m.

Sun. 7 at L.A. Lakers 8:30 p.m.

Tue. 9 New York 7 p.m.

Wed. 10 at Dallas 7:30 p.m.

Fri. 12 Cleveland 7 p.m.

Sun. 14 Golden State 5 p.m.

Tue. 16 Utah 7 p.m.

Thu. 18 at Houston 7:30 p.m.

Sat. 20 Portland 6 p.m.

Sun. 21 at Oklahoma City 6 p.m.

Tue. 23 at Indiana 6 p.m.

Fri. 26 San Antonio 7 p.m.

Sat. 27 at Chicago 7 p.m.

Tue. 30 Phoenix 7 p.m.

Wed. 31 at San Antonio 7:30 p.m.

JANUARY

Fri. 2 Houston 7 p.m.

Mon. 5 Washington 7 p.m.

Wed. 7 at Charlotte 6 p.m.

Fri. 9 Memphis 7 p.m.

Mon. 12 at Boston 6:30 p.m.

Wed. 14 at Detroit 6:30 p.m.

Fri. 16 at Philadelphia 6 p.m.

Sun. 18 at Toronto 2:30 p.m.

Mon. 19 at New York 4:30 p.m.

Wed. 21 L.A. Lakers 7 p.m.

Fri. 23 at Minnesota 7 p.m.

Sun. 25 Dallas 5 p.m.

Mon. 26 Philadelphia 7 p.m.

Wed. 28 Denver 7 p.m.

Fri. 30 L.A. Clippers 7 p.m.

FEBRUARY

Mon. 2 Atlanta 7 p.m.

Wed. 4 Oklahoma City 7 p.m.

Fri. 6 at Oklahoma City 7 p.m.

Sat. 7 Chicago 6 p.m.

Mon. 9 Utah 7 p.m.

Wed. 11 Indiana 7 p.m.

Fri. 20 at Orlando 6 p.m.

Sat. 21 at Miami 6:30 p.m.

Mon. 23 Toronto 7 p.m.

Wed. 25 Brooklyn 7 p.m.

Fri. 27 Miami 7 p.m.

MARCH

Sun. 1 at Denver 7 p.m.

Mon. 2 at Dallas 7:30 p.m.

Wed. 4 Detroit 7 p.m.

Fri. 6 Boston 7 p.m.

Sat. 7 Memphis 6 p.m.

Mon. 9 at Milwaukee 7 p.m.

Tue. 10 at Brooklyn 6:30 p.m.

Sun. 15 Denver 5 p.m.

Tue. 17 Milwaukee 7 p.m.

Thu. 19 at Phoenix 9 p.m.

Fri. 20 at Golden State 9:30 p.m.

Sun. 22 at L.A. Clippers 10:30 a.m.

Wed. 25 Houston 7 p.m.

Fri. 27 Sacramento 7 p.m.

Sun. 29 Minnesota 3 p.m.

APRIL

Wed. 1 at L.A. Lakers 9:30 p.m.

Fri. 3 at Sacramento 9 p.m.

Sat. 4 at Portland 9 p.m.

Tue. 7 Golden State 7 p.m.

Wed. 8 at Memphis 7 p.m.

Fri. 10 Phoenix 7 p.m.

Sun. 12 at Houston 6 p.m.

Mon. 13 at Minnesota 7 p.m.

Wed. 15 San Antonio 7 p.m.

All times local