New Orleans Pelicans: One step forward, two steps back

The New Orleans Pelicans recently won their second game in the year 2014, but they are now back on the losing track. On Monday against the Memphis Grizzlies Anthony Davis brought life back into the Pelicans locker room when he finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, and 4 steals and an impressive 4 blocks. The Pelicans beat the Grizzlies 95-92.  Although, on Tuesday he didn’t put on that good of a show and the Pelicans lost to the Sacramento Kings, 114-97.

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With this win over the Grizzlies I thought that the Pelicans could easily win their next few games and be right back in the playoff hunt. I must’ve forgot how good Rudy Gay was.

I was very excited about the start of this week for the Pelicans, because not only did they snap their 8-game losing streak they did so on the road! The Pelicans road record is 7-14, but hey at least they aren’t as bad as the Magic on the road.

Who are the New Orleans Pelicans? Does anyone know? I thought I did, but then I watched them play the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. The Kings came running out of the gate and took a commanding 38-20 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Pelicans made a great run in the second half and they walked into halftime only down by 8 points.

Second half woes for the Pelicans, they were outscored by 14 points in the third quarter and Anthony Davis finished with 16 points, but failed to get into double-digits in the rebounding category. Eric Gordon was nowhere to be found finishing with only 7 points. Tyreke Evans tried to help his team get the win, but finished with 17 points.

One big issue I’m seeing with the Pelicans is the lack of inside play from their big men. Since Jason Smith has been out with an injured right knee the Pelicans have been playing 3 different players at the center position. On Monday Greg Stiemsma, Jeff Whithey and Alexis Ajinca only combined for a total of 14 points. On Tuesday the three big men combined for a total of 18 points.

Would the Pelicans benefit more from moving Anthony Davis to the center position and try trading for a scoring power forward/small forward? I think that is a move that the Pelicans must consider.

The Pelicans only attempt 15.9 three-pointers a game, which is the third lowest in the NBA. Davis is having a tremendous sophomore season and the Pelicans clearly need some more inside scoring, because they aren’t taking many three’s in a game. The three big men playing the center position for the Pelicans aren’t contributing enough scoring to this team, one way to fix that is to try to get Eric Gordon out of New Orleans and bring in a scoring power forward/small forward.

The Pelicans clearly aren’t winning many games, they must change a part of how they run their offense. If your team isn’t taking many three-pointers and still losing, why not take more three-pointers and see if that makes a difference in the outcome of the game.

One option that comes to my mind is that the Pelicans should run a type of offense where they just set picks for their best outside shooters. Put Davis and Ajinca in the game and have them run picks for Rivers, Gordon and Morrow. What’s the worse that could happen? They attempt 40 three-pointers a game and still don’t come away with a victory?

Bottom line is that the Pelicans are losing basketball games. They have changed the starting lineup a little bit, but continue to lose games. Now this team needs to find another option that will help them bring home some wins.

The only big man that’s scoring is Davis, so don’t try to pound it in the post every time down the court. Start jacking up three-pointers and maybe you’ll find that your team is looking like the Creighton Blue Jays.