New Orleans Pelicans: Loss to Bulls highlights Pels’ biggest problems

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
New Orleans Pelicans, Josh Hart
Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls drives against Josh Hart #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans are a frustrating team.

They range from “lottery awful” to “title contender” often within the same game, playing like garbage for a few minutes only to look like the 1996 Bulls the next.

This is to be expected with a young team with a poorly constructed roster even though Zion Williamson continues to have an All-NBA caliber season.

Related Story. 5 trade targets on the Bulls to monitor. light

Almost all of the Pelicans’ problems were on display against the Chicago Bulls, who are a middling team in the terrible Eastern Conference that has now beat the Pelicans twice.

You can’t lose these types of games and expect to the make the playoffs and the Pels have the maddening habit of playing down to their opponent.

After beating the team with the best record in the NBA the game before, the Pelicans came out flat against the Bulls, highlighting some of their biggest issues along the way.

New Orleans Pelicans: The Pels don’t care about defense

What more can you say about the Pelicans’ defense except that it is absolutely terrible?

The Pels are currently 29th in the NBA in defensive rating, just above the Kings, two teams whose defensive strategy seems to be “Let’s hope they miss a lot of wide-open shots and layups.”

Stan Van Gundy was disgusted with his team’s effort, saying after the game:

"“One of our problems is our guys will beat themselves up about missing shots, missing free throws, all of that, but the defensive stuff just doesn’t get to them in the same way,” Van Gundy said. “It doesn’t bother them that we gave up 128 points tonight. … I’m not sure individual players are holding themselves accountable for the right things.”"

This is the problem with the New Orleans Pelicans in a nutshell, lack of priorities and effort. They just don’t seem to care about defense outside of a few guys and this is something that has to change.

If your two stars aren’t going to play defense, then everyone else has to, and right now, that is not happening. We could see some big changes at the trade deadline and if every move isn’t to improve the defense, then David Griffin should be on the hot seat.