The New Orleans Pelicans (15-22) lost another game last night against the San Antonio Spurs. As the days go by the Pelicans just keep slipping farther down the Western Conference standings. The Utah Jazz (13-26) have the worst record in the West and the kicker is that the Pelicans are only three games away from tying Utah.
Here are a few keys the Pelicans can use to avoid that situation.
Just get one
The Pelicans are struggling and are currently on a 6-game losing streak. On Wednesday the Houston Rockets travel to New Orleans to take on the Pelicans and the Pelicans need this win, badly. When you are on a losing streak, you don’t have very much motivation. If the Pelicans can get this win on Wednesday it could give them a boost of motivation.
The Pelicans are playing good basketball, but they just can’t seem to play well enough to get wins. By getting one win, it could start a trend, and the next game could be another win. If the Pelicans get on a winning streak that could boost their motivation levels to the roof and get them out of this slump.
Switch up the starting lineup
Both Tyreke Evans and Austin Rivers haven’t started a game this season. The Pelicans really like when Evans comes off the bench, but the team has lost 6 games in a row now and should put Evans in the starting lineup to see what happens.
Rivers is only playing about 14 minutes a game and averages 5 points per game. He has a very nice outside stroke and if he gets more minutes it could boost his shooting confidence up. Jason Smith is playing very well at the center position, averaging almost 10 points per game and about 6 rebounds a game. Is Greg Stiemsma a better option?
I would like to see Greg Stiemsma get a little more playing time. He looks to be back in healthy shape and if they give Stiemsma more minutes he could help the team out with his post play. Anthony Davis is having a great season averaging about 20 points a game and bringing down 10 boards a game. He gets this Pelican team going, but they need another spark. Switching up the starting lineup can cause some trouble in the middle of the year, but it could also mean more wins.
Shop Gordon harder
I haven’t heard how hard the Pelicans are trying to shop Eric Gordon, but if he is on the trading block they need to be talking to teams every day. Gordon may have slowed down his game once he heard that he was being put on the trading block, and now he’s hurting this Pelican team. With injuries to Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday, New Orleans has to make a transaction quickly.
There is no such thing as the “perfect deal” and the Pelicans need to realize that. Since the Pelicans have come out and said they are putting Gordon on the trading block they have been losing games. If the Pelicans want to make the playoffs they have to shop Gordon harder.
Tanking an option?
Tanking is one of the worst options in sports, but is this a better option for the Pelicans? The Pelicans are falling out of the playoff race with every game they don’t win, obviously. It doesn’t make total sense for them to continue to lose games and then later on in the season get on a long winning streak. The Pelicans need to figure out if the whole team is set on trying to make the playoffs. If the team is all in on trying to get to the playoffs and they miss it by a few games, that is okay. Although, if they have the mindset of making the playoffs, but miss them by 7-10 games they are just hurting their draft position. This draft class is going to be very strong, but if the Pelicans tank and get a top eight pick, next year this team could look even stronger.
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