It hasn’t been a very good start to the 2014-year for the New Orleans Pelicans. Since the beginning of the New Year the Pelicans have an awful record. They currently have played seven games in 2014 and their record is 1-6. Everyone says that the All-Star Break is a good time for teams to gather around and get a fresh start. I agree with that, but I think the once a New Year rolls around that’s when your team gets a fresh start. And the Pelicans have not had a good fresh start to this the New Year.
The Pelicans are currently on a five game losing streak. How you may wonder? There are plenty of reasons of how they are on this losing streak. Injuries, trade rumors, loss of identity, and the tale of two halves. The Pelicans lost their leader in Ryan Anderson due to injury and their starting point guard, Jrue Holiday. In the middle of this week the Pelicans stated that they are placing Eric Gordon on the trading block.
The Pelicans are playing good basketball… well they are only playing one good half of basketball. This five game losing streak all started with a tough game against the Indiana Pacers. Pelicans played a very strong first half against the Pacers, but then got out worked in the second half and ended up losing that game 99-82. Three days later they played the second best team in the East (Miami Heat) and played another great first half of basketball, but then got out schooled in the second half, losing 107-88. Up next was the Washington Wizards and the Pelicans lost a very close game, 102-96. The next two games were against the Dallas Mavericks and the Pelicans played well, but lost both of those games.
The Pelicans needed to win at least one of those two games against the Mavericks. They are chasing Dallas down for the last spot in the Western Conference. When you watch the Pelicans play, for some reason they don’t look like they are clicking together as a team. Yes, injuries don’t help your team, but the Pelicans mindset needs to change or they could continue to stay on the losing streak.
The problem with coming out and telling the whole world that you are putting someone on the trading block, is that if you don’t trade the person right away he may just keep hurting your team. The Pelicans need to get back on the winning track and when you aren’t winning you have to start changing your lineup.
Pelicans need to bring in some new talent. The bench scoring is a big issue for the Pelicans. Austin Rivers coming off the bench is bringing a new spark to the offensive side of the ball, but the Pelicans need someone else who can come off the bench and score some points. Brian Roberts is playing very well with Holiday out of the lineup. Roberts needs to score more points for the Pelicans, but he also needs to get his teammates more involved.
The Pelicans schedule isn’t going to get any easier. Their next three games they play the teeth of the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs, the Houston Rockets, and the Golden State Warriors. The Pelicans are struggling, we know that, and they know that. Maybe let Austin Rivers start a game few games and let him shoot the ball. Never know what could happen if Rivers started playing 30 minutes a game. Gordon is not producing at a level that the Pelicans need him to play at. Something big needs to happen whether it’s trade of a starting lineup change. The playoffs are slipping right out of the hands of this struggling New Orleans Pelicans team.