Defensive Struggles are the deciding factor, as the New Orleans Pelicans lose five of the first six games of the regular season.
The New Orleans Pelicans lose another matchup to start the NBA regular season. The Pelicans start the small two-game road trip with a loss to the Thunder 115-104. New Orleans, who are without the first overall pick Zion Williamson are feeling the woes, as the team struggles in multiple categories. The West is a very competitive Conference this season, so to stay in the fight, the Pel’s must fix some critical parts of there game.
It was evident in the first half of the Thunder basketball game; the Pelicans were dealing with issues regarding there defense. New Orleans allowed multiple open shots on the perimeter for the Thunder, including numerous shots from Danilo Gallinari 16 point performance. The Pelicans primarily need to address this defensive issue if they hope to compete throughout the season.
The Pelicans also struggled from the charity strike on Saturday night, as New Orleans recorded only 59% from the line. These “free” points cant be missed and need to be improved down the stretch. The Pelicans are only shooting 76% at the free-throw line so far in this young season.
Continue The Ball Movement
The Pelicans are doing a great job moving the ball around and knocking shots down after multiple passes per possession. New Orleans leads the NBA in assists so far this season, with the majority of the help from team leader Lonzo Ball with 7.3 assists per game. This did not change on Saturday against OKC as the team continues to move the ball around effectively. To continue to compete and stay in games late, the Pelicans must continue to move the ball around to get the best shot possible.
Hart of the Team?
The energy of Josh Hart has been a game-changer so far this season. Although the stat sheet may not show the progression, Hart has been a force on the court. The energy and physicality he shows while on the court is contagious, and he makes his entire team better. Expect Hart to have an impressive season this year, if the positive energy on the court continues, those traits of the game do not go unnoticed.
‘s Next For the New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans will finish there short 2-game road trip on Monday, as they head to Brooklyn to take on the Nets.
Come discuss this and much more at the Overtime Heroics forums!
Check out our partners at Shoreline Sportsbook for all of your sport betting needs! Use promo code OTHGambling when you sign up and get your deposit matched 100% up to $500.