New Orleans Pelicans: A few issues need to be addressed

The New Orleans Pelicans have 99 problems, but Anthony Davis isn’t one. Davis had another big game last night against the Atlanta Hawks as the Pelicans prevailed 105-100.

Davis finished the game with 27 points, 10 rebounds, went 9-10 from the free throw line, shot 64% from the field and recorded 1 block.

Davis will continue helping his squad throughout the year, but he needs more help to say the least. I have a few concerns for the Pelicans as the league moves closer to NBA All-Star weekend.

As of today the New Orleans Arena will be renamed the Smoothie King Center. The Smoothie King Center will host this year All-Star Game and will give the home crowd quite a show.

(Photo credit: www.espn.com)

(Photo credit: www.espn.com)

Monty Williams and his coaching staff definitely have some issues they need to take care of before the break is over.

The three concerns I have for the New Orleans Pelicans are starting lineup scoring, inside scoring other than Anthony Davis and a consistent 3 point shooter.

The Pelicans middle of their starting lineup struggles to score. Anthony Davis and Eric Gordon are going to get 15+ plus points a game, but rarely does one of the other 3 starters score in the teens for points.

In the last timeout point guard Brian Roberts had a big game for the Pelicans with 19 points, but Al-Farouq Aminu and Alexis Ajinca scored only 10 points combined. In the Pelicans last loss nether Aminu, Ajinca, or Roberts reached double-digit figures.

If the Pelicans want to have a better record coming out of the All-Star break Davis and Gordon can’t be the only starters scoring points. The second concern I have for the Pelicans is whom do they have to score inside other than Davis?

This team doesn’t have another option for big man scoring down in the post. Now that Jason Smith is out for the remainder of the season hurts the Pelicans, because their other 3 true centers don’t score points. Ajinca has been starting lately, but only averages 4.3 points a game. Greg Stiemsma and Jeff Withey each average around 3 points a game and Withey doesn’t even get 10 minutes a game.

If you can’t pound the ball inside to more than one big man, the team begins to take a lot of jump shots and jump shots won’t win many games for this team.

The Pelicans struggle with shooting the three ball consistently. When Ryan Anderson was in the lineup he was taking almost 8 threes a game, now with him out the next most threes taken in a game is Gordon with 4. Jrue Holiday was taking 2.3 threes a game, but now he is out with an injury as well. The team struggles from beyond the arc and if you can’t pound the ball inside and you can’t hit the three consistently, where will the teams points coming from?

(Photo credit: www.rantsports.com)

(Photo credit: www.rantsports.com)

The Pelicans have been very unlucky this season, because of all the injuries. If the Pelicans want to move forward in a positive direction towards making the playoffs they will have to make some moves before the trade deadline. I would like to see them eye a good three-point shooter and a scoring big man wouldn’t hurt them either.

Although, with Luke Babbitt coming to New Orleans he will give this team a better scoring option when he suits up. NBA D-League star Pierre Jackson broke the single-game scoring record with 58 points a few nights ago. The Pelicans own the rights to Jackson, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a call from Mr. Demps. Jackson can flat out shoot the rock, but will he be able to play at that level on a bigger stage?

Expect the Pelicans to come out of the All-Star break with a lot of energy. I still believe this team can regroup and climb their way back into the Western Conference playoff hunt. And Mr. Demps you may want to ponder the thought of calling Pierre Jackson.

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