New Orleans Pelicans: 3 things to look for in “must win” game vs. Kings

Nickeil Alexander-Walker #0 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Nickeil Alexander-Walker #0 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Is tonight’s game vs. the Kings a must-win for the New Orleans Pelicans?

The New Orleans Pelicans are only 11 games into the 2020-21 season but it’s not too early to say they need a win vs. the Sacramento Kings.

The Pelicans have lost five-in-a-row, three of which were very frustrating losses that probably should have been wins.

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The Pelicans continued to blow leads against both Los Angeles teams, though it’s a bit less troubling when they do it against better teams.

Stan Van Gundy has his team playing improved defense but they are still turning the ball over at a high rate, going through long offensive funks and shooting the ball terribly.

The New Orleans Pelicans obviously still have time to turn things around, but they can’t afford to keep dropping winnable games, especially to team like the Kings, who the Pels will be battling in the standings.

This is a good early test to see what the New Orleans Pelicans are made of, as they desperately need a win on the road against a Kings team they can beat.

New Orleans Pelicans: What to look for against the Sacramento Kings

A full game

The Pelicans have the nasty habit of looking like a title contender one quarter and a lottery team the next. This was on full display against the Lakers, as the Pels looked great in the first quarter and then fell apart in the second half.

This is happening for many reasons. The Pels have not shot the ball well, and it is hard to put teams away if you don’t.

The Pels turn the ball over way too much. Their 14 first-half turnovers against the Lakers were the only thing keeping LA in the game.

New Orleans goes through long dry spells on offense when they go to Brandon Ingram iso plays as their only play.

The Pelicans still haven’t put together a complete game this season, so it would be nice to see them play consistently throughout, keep the effort and focus, and not fall apart for extended stretches.