New Orleans Pelicans: Momentum will be key moving forward

NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 27: Anthony Davis
NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 27: Anthony Davis /

After suffering two straight losses in back-to-back games, the New Orleans Pelicans are currently sitting in the eighth spot in the Western Conference. They’ll need to get back to their strengths in order to start building momentum for the new year.

The New Orleans Pelicans suffered their second straight loss against the New York Knicks on Saturday night. This loss would place this team as the eighth seed in the Western Conference if the playoffs started today.

After enjoying a three-game win streak before Friday night, they have suffered back-to-back losses against two teams they could have beaten any other day. What has plagued this team from the get-go is that they have a tendency to play below expectations against teams they are favored to beat.

Sporting the best frontcourt in the NBA with DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis is a major advantage that not a lot of teams can defend. Both players are extremely talented on both ends of the floor but they do have their weaknesses. It’s those weaknesses that have sometimes been a detriment to the rest of the team.

One of those major weaknesses is their 3-point shooting. You do have to give it to both All-Stars that they aren’t shy in stepping out behind the arc and letting it fly. But there is a time and a place for making those shots through the offense and not forcing it, which can hurt your team in the long run.

3-point shooting

The Pelicans shot the 3-ball horribly the last two games (24.6 percent), which allowed their opposition to stay in the game and run their fast break offense. DeMarcus Cousins didn’t help matters in his performance against the Dallas Mavericks, taking 10 shots from the 3-point line but making only three of them.

Some of those shots were clean looks, but some others were forced and ill-advised. It’s hard to put the blame squarely on Cousins since he did score 32 points in that game, but he has a responsibility as one of the star players of the team.

Both DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis will need to set the tone for the rest of their team. They can’t be seen as guys who are just padding their numbers while they are losing games. The New Orleans Pelicans have an amazing opportunity to move up the rankings of the Western Conference, especially if they can beat teams like the Dallas Mavericks and the New York Knicks. This team has the talent and potential to be considered a dark-horse contender in the West.


What the New Orleans Pelicans need to do is establish an identity and stick with it moving forward. This team is second in assists and third in points, but they don’t have a consistent method of winning games. If the Pelicans want to be known as a 3-point shooting team, they need their best 3-point shooters leading the charge, not their best players.

The easiest way to accomplish that is having both DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis establish themselves in the paint and perimeter. Having those All-Stars do their damage in the paint will force defenders to double-team them, which will allow the Pelicans’ 3-point shooters to get open shots.

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The Pelicans will have their chance to start off the new year on the right foot when they match up against the Utah Jazz. They need to establish their dominance in the paint with their two All-Stars and allow the rest of the team to play off of them. If they can do that, the sky is the limit for these New Orleans Pelicans.