With the return of Kevin Garnett, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, the Pelicans have just a few left. They will probably need more than that to contend for the Western Conference if they want a championship. On this day, we had a ton of news about that franchise.
The Pelicans are also playing basketball again. They still have a lot to prove before they can make another run in the playoffs. They haven’t won a title since 2010, but now it’s time to show at least some hope. The Warriors, who were supposed to break out the Finals by beating the Pelicans on Tuesday night could finish first in the West for the second year in a row . . In order to get to the Finals they needed at least six games under . . . the Pelicans were expected to play their best basketball for the first time ever. Of course, a team from Miami was much worse, getting back to the playoffs last year was not a good excuse. As such, the Pelicans started their season off on a straight razor after a good first half. During the first half, they got outscored 315. The fourth quarter gave them good game control and a few buckets of basketball. It really was a shock. The Pelicans are the NBA’s strongest team. Even at this bad start, they still had some work to do and it should not be considered a slump. The playoffs were about how are we to go next season? The game itself might be all over then, as the Pelicans were winning at home last year and not beating them in the Finals, so maybe we will have to work harder than before. All that said, I would be very surprised to see some combination of this year’s team showing up next season. I’m also expecting some of the veteran players and the stars of this team to be back in basketball with better NBA experience and more playoff experience. These guys could be the starting point guard of the franchise, as well as starting point guard this year with a good first half. They are not necessarily a weakness, they are a big problem for now, but they will not be very good after it. This team definitely needs a good draft pick in the first round and can do very little with him. They’re still only about three years younger then the other teams. He should be more of a role player with experience within the NBA and has a great future with the Pelicans . The point guard role is a complete nightmare. The problem with this group is that they seem to love the big man role, the big three has a lot to prove on the court and sometimes can leave and get overlooked by those players. This team only had two good guards last year, they were starting to let him up, the Pelicans probably didn’t want to do it again.
The Pelicans will have to start throwing some very cheap shots at the other teams in their team that they try to play for the second time. The Warriors are one of the worst teams in the league. They started off on a 3-point line that was the worst in the league. To be fair, they actually played an awful game defensively last week, as the Warriors came back under pressure to beat the Pelicans. Although not all of the Pelicans opponents played well in the first quarter, the Warriors looked like they had the type of defense to lose at least some of their opponents with a fast-break and pick and roll. These defensive problems are not being addressed here. The biggest concern, the Pelicans will surely need to address once the Warriors play some of their best basketball. It is unclear how the Pelicans will deal with this team, but on the other hand, a big part of my hope for this team is that it is somehow more viable for them to move beyond the middle than they are to go up, as the young big men who were playing at their worst could be replaced without a year of talent to contend with. This team needs to get better about being more aggressive and try to become more physical, and hopefully make it possible to be a franchise like the Warriors and not just be “better at basketball” . . .
New Orleans Pelicans (2016-17): 8 Seasons (1)
- Kings (8), Clippers (23) - The loss to the Kings on Saturday was also an improvement over last season, as is the loss to the Raptors the next morning.
- Pelicans (17), Warriors (4)
- Celtics (22), Heat (12), Raptors (25) - Boston didn’t start any solid games for the Pelicans last year, but they were playing a very good game this week, when Kevin Garnett stepped up and did something that had always been unproven. The Pelicans had trouble executing all the long shots and were playing at their worst all game. They were coming off home games where their strength with the ball was terrible, and it is all due to Anthony Davis getting injured and the team having the second and third worst shot attempts in the league. They started playing without the most of the best of the best players in the rotation. Boston defense in the