Disappointing run continues for Pelicans with loss at Knicks
The New Orleans Pelicans. Remember them?
They used to be a fun story, the team in the West that with Zion, no one wanted to play in the playoffs.
The Pelicans sunk below .500 with a 20-point loss Saturday night at the New York Knicks, 128-106.
New Orleans surrendered 126 points, yet another poor night defensively for a team that lately has trouble putting the clamps on anybody.
So, what are the issues?
Well, for one, not having Williamson, again, for an extended time, is certainly a problem.
But, so, to me is a lack of fire.
Last year, without Zion, the Pelicans rolled through the play in tournament, and took the Phoenix Suns to six games in a hotly contested series.
The Pelicans were edgy, back then. Jose Alvarado went toe to toe with former Hornet Chris Paul, and the fans, fed off it.
And so did Jose’s team.
Alvarado is still playing as hard as ever, but when it comes to emotion, I just don’t see enough of it from a collective roster.
Am I wrong? Did I miss something?
The Knicks were on the second night of a back to back. But, instead the listless team looked like New Orleans.
The Knicks outscored the Pelicans by 16 points in the first quarter, and never looked back.
Head coach Willie Green, who galvanized his team a year ago, against tremendous odds, and an horrendous start, is having a difficult time replicating the tremendous energy displayed by his club a year ago.
The schedule has also been an issue.
Friday night, February 10th, the Pelicans played the Cavaliers at home.
They don’t play at home again until Monday night against Orlando, then go out west for three more road games, before returning March 8th to play Dallas at the Smoothie King Center.
So, that’s one home game in a space of 26 days.
Forget Mardi Gras, the NBA should do better by New Orleans.
However, now it is time for the Pelicans to help themselves.
Time to lock down defensively, time to find that chemistry that made the New Orleans Pelicans one of the best stories in the NBA a year ago.
As for Zion, he’s superb, when he’s available.
Yet he’s played in 114 games in almost four complete regular seasons. He is a very big and talented, if.
In the past, with the Pelicans, you could always count on an entire roster that pulled together and went toe to toe with everyone.
That’s the team that the city, last year, fell in love.
The point is, the bloom is now, off the rose.
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WGNO Sports Director/106.1 FM
Ed is a New Orleans native, born at Baptist Hospital. He graduated Rummel High School, class of 1975, and subsequently graduated from Loyola University. Ed started in TV in 1977 as first sports intern at WVUE Channel 8. He became Sports Director at KPLC TV Channel 7 in Lake Charles in 1980. In 1982 he was hired as sports reporter…