Oct. 20 ESPN game between Pelicans and Warriors to feature half of 2017 West All-Star team

Twelve players were members of the 2017 Western Conference All-Star team, which outlasted the East squad 192-182 in February. Six of those well-known basketball names will be on the Smoothie King Center hardwood Oct. 20, in an extremely star-studded home contest for the New Orleans Pelicans.

This evening the NBA announced its slate of marquee games for the opening week of the 2017-18 regular season, including a meeting between defending NBA champion Golden State and New Orleans. The game will take place Friday, Oct. 20, and will be broadcast nationally by ESPN. Tip-off for Warriors-Pelicans will be at 8:30 p.m. Central.

Joining perennial New Orleans All-Star bigs Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins will be Golden State’s quartet of All-Star performers. That group includes Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant – who combined to win three consecutive league MVP trophies from 2014 to 2016 – as well as Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.

Although Golden State went 4-0 vs. New Orleans in ’16-17, the Warriors have not yet faced the Pelicans with Cousins in uniform. Three of those Warriors victories last season came prior to a midseason trade involving Cousins, while the fourth occurred in April, after Cousins and Davis had been kept out of the lineup for precautionary health reasons.

The full NBA schedule for 2017-18 is expected to be released next week. Adam Silver recently announced that the regular season for the league overall will begin Tuesday, Oct. 17. It is the earliest the NBA regular season has begun since the 1980-81 campaign, partly to increase rest for players and reduce the number of back-to-backs each team will play.

The league also announced the five-game Christmas slate, which features Philadelphia-New York; Cleveland-Golden State; Washington-Boston; Houston-Oklahoma City; and Minnesota-L.A. Lakers.

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