New Orleans Pelicans: 3 preseason games show this disturbing trend

New Orleans Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker (6) shoots for three Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Pelicans guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker (6) shoots for three Credit: Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans were blown out in their third preseason game and an ugly trend from last season is starting to emerge already.

Last year the Pelicans earned the nickname “The Trick or Treat Pels,” as you never knew what you were getting from night to night.

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When the Pelicans are shooting the ball well, they look unbeatable at times, as they can overwhelm teams with their pace and offensive firepower.

When they aren’t hitting their shots, the Pelicans are often flat and let it affect them on the defensive end, which leads to games like the one you saw last night.

The all-or-nothing 3-point shooting is not a trend I’d like to see come back, but so far in the preseason, it has.

New Orleans Pelicans: The Pels have to find a way to win without 3-point shots

It’s debatable whether the Pelicans improved their shooting this offseason and the results this preseason show why.

The Pels went 12-of-27 (32.4 percent) from 3-point range in the opening loss to the Timberwolves, then shot a scorching 18-of-35 (51.4 percent) in their win over the Magic, then backed it up with a miserable 8-of-39 (20.5 percent) in the blowout loss to the Bulls.

Even in game two, the New Orleans Pelicans went through a long drought in the first two quarters before collectively getting hot, so it wasn’t like they were lights-out all game.

This inconsistency is concerning, as the Pelicans shoot a lot of 3-point shots and their confidence level on both ends seems affected if they aren’t going in.

Part of this problem will be solved when Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram return, as the Pelicans won’t have to rely so heavily on long-range shots.

But the Pelicans can’t let poor 3-point shooting affect other parts of their game, as defense and rebounding are about effort and that has to be there from night to night whether the shots are falling or not.

I’m hoping to see more consistency out of this young team when it comes to shooting the ball, but even if that never happens and the Trick or Treat Pels are back, they have to bring the same effort on defense.

I am certain this is something Coach Willie Green is going to be talking about after three up and down games to start the preseason.

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