The New Orleans Pelicans were more then confident when the players first laced up their shoes for the 2013-2014 NBA season. Now that the season is over, the fans of New Orleans can go back into hibernation.
Another disappointing season is in the books for the Pelicans as they finished the regular season with a 34-48 on Wednesday night.
Two games left on the Pelicans roster, and the team was in danger of finishing the season on a 10 game losing streak. However, Tyreke Evans wasn’t going to let that happen. Evans scored a career-high 41 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday. Fast forward two days and he exploded for another 25 points.
Once Evans cracked the starting lineup he showed the NBA he had another gear under his hood. Next year the coaching staff needs to put Evans in the starting lineup right off the bat, because not starting the sharpshooter doesn’t help the team’s playoff hopes.
Losing streaks are no stranger to the team from The Crescent City. Every game this season there has been one quarter that catches the team off guard. Stats show that the Pelicans ranked 24th in third quarter scoring. However, the team ranked 4th in fourth quarter scoring. Anthony Davis fueled the fourth quarter runs, but one of the main reasons why the Pelicans didn’t make the playoffs was poor defense.
Defense didn’t seem to be an issue in the first half of games, but coming out of halftime is where the Pelicans struggled. Opponents scored on average 49.8 points on the Pelicans defensive in the first half of games, but in the second half of games the defense was even worse. Opponents scored an impressive 52.0 points in the second half of games. We have to ask Monty Williams what he told his players at halftime. Remember halftime speeches are supposed to pump your team up not down… come on Monty!
Defense and third quarter scoring haven’t been the only problems for New Orleans, but injuries played a starting role during the season.
The first player to go down with an injury was the shooting star, Ryan Anderson. After Anderson went down in January other players started to fall like dominoes. Jrue Holidy, Pelicans star point guard was injured a week later, and after those two guys exited the court the Pelicans struggled tremendously.
Another reason the Pelicans didn’t make the playoffs was of inexperience. Anderson was New Orleans veteran leader and after he went down no one picked up that role. The average age for the Pelicans is 25.2 years old, that ranks 6th youngest in the NBA. Experience is a key strength an NBA team needs to make the postseason. Davis a superstar player, but his leadership skills aren’t there… yet.
It has been a great season for Davis as he made his first of many All-Star appearances. However, injuries, defense, not starting Evans, losing streaks and inexperience are the reasons why the New Orleans Pelicans didn’t make the playoffs.