The 2021 seasonal hopes for the New Orleans Pelicans is looking like it is slipping away. After what started off early, looking like it was going to be a good season. They had a nice very early start, going 4-2 in the first 6 games – but, now they regularly take bad shots and the Pelicans have played far less to what we expected. There was a serious belief they could become a legit contender when they started looking better late last season, and then they started the season off with big plans and hopes.
New Orleans have been losing to teams by 12+ on the regular – it is looking bad. Playing no defense at times, with 7 games giving up 125 or more it is looking like another 13th place finish season, down the barrel. For a team that many were looking at as the next possible up and coming team after last season’s relative success, adding coach Stan Van Gundy and having another year behind the Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram tag team.
After their early good start – as of 2.28.2021 – the New Orleans Pelicans hold the 11th place in the Western Conference, I would have expected them to have 6 or more wins than they have put up, which if they did, they would possibly be looking to be in the top 5-6 teams in the West. The season has been a disappointment to the team and their hopes of turning around their middling franchise. The Pelicans have lost 33% of their games this season by 10+ points. They are being shredded for almost 116 ppg /game, putting them in the bottom 5 in points given up. And being in a conference with high octane teams like Utah, the Clippers and Portland – that doesn’t bode well. When teams make a run against them, they fall apart like a wet paper towel – showing no heart on the court.
They are still young with the core of their team between their top 3 stars, having an average age of 21 – so they have a ton of promise, still. But we have to ask if what they are currently putting on the court is where we thought they would be as of now. The Pelicans have had some ugly losing streaks already in the season, going into spirals like that is good for nobody, especially a team that is young and trying to get their footing. If they don’t figure it out very soon, it could be far too late for them to come back from this. It seems each member of Pelicans needs to give themselves a gut check to see if they have real commitment to getting it together.
The New Orleans defense seems to lack a focal point, not being at least decent at anything – especially their 3p defense, which has had more than its share of weak links giving up 39% shooting to opponents. It is abundantly clear that the team defending on the court is poor. Maybe the team’s decision to hire Van Gundy as coach, has turned out to be a mistake, as he doesn’t have this team playing any better than what they were last season. Maybe Alvin Gentry and his style wasn’t great, but was it really any worse than what is going on now? New Orleans doesn’t look like they have the right pieces to win now, or do they have the hopes for something to look forward to. The Pelicans as a team right now seem to have no discernible direction and on the outside looking in for the NBA Playoffs.
Every Coach starts with a vision for their team.
Are the New Orleans Pelicans ever going to see it come together?