New Orleans Pelicans: This issue is going to be a big problem

Head coach Willie Green of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Head coach Willie Green of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans dropped their opener to the 76ers, who went on a big run late to close out the game.

The Pels hung tight for most of the game, and had clawed to within six points with about nine minutes left in the 4th quarter.

From there the 76ers went on a huge run that essentially put the nail in the Pelicans’ coffin.

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This is going to be an issue all season for the New Orleans Pelicans, who are one of the youngest teams in the NBA and are going to struggle closing out games.

Coach Green admitted as much after the game saying that Philly’s experience was a big factor and that the young Pels are going to have to get better late in games.

New Orleans Pelicans: Execution late is going to be a problem

One of the hardest parts of the adjustment to the NBA for young players is closing out games and that was on full display last night for the Pelicans.

After getting to within six, the Pels repeatedly lost their man on defense and gave up easy shots to Philly, who simply executed better.

The 76ers kept running the pick-and-roll with Furkan Korkmaz and the Pels bit on it every time. They kept trying to go under the screens, which you can’t do with a shooter like Korkmaz, who made them pay.

The Pelicans also failed to execute on the offensive end, instead relying far too heavily on Brandon Ingram isolation plays, which the 76ers were ready to defend.

Ingram ended up taking some tough shots and the Pels had turnovers late because the ball stopped moving.

Some of these issues will be remedied by the return of Zion Williamson, as the Pels won’t have to rely on Ingram so much late in games, but it really just comes down to execution.

The Pels have to pay attention to the little things on defense and keep the ball moving on offense late in games.

We find out who teams are late in close games when things slow down, and last night the New Orleans Pelicans looked like a young team still learning the game.

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