New Orleans Pelicans Lose to Thunder 115-104

Nov 2, 2019; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) drives to the basket around New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (2) during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Oklahoma City won 115-104. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Defensive Struggles

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.

“Free” Throws

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(Twitter/New Orleans Pelicans)

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

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(Twitter/New Orleans Pelicans)

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.

Whats 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.

Christian S. Rauh is a Sports Writer for Overtime Heroics.

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