New Orleans Pelicans: Why it’s not time to tank…yet

Head coaches Willie Green (R) of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Head coaches Willie Green (R) of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans dropped their 5th game in a row, this one to the Sacramento Kings, who have now beaten the Pels twice in the young season.

It’s pretty much been a train wreck from the get-go, as Zion Williamson has yet to play and no one can really tell us when he will return.

Brandon Ingram has now missed several games, Josh Hart was injured to start the season and some Pels’ fans are starting to wonder if this season is a wash.

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At the moment, the idea of “tanking” is laughable, as the Pels are playing hard but just don’t have the talent to compete without their two best players. They have no choice but to be bad.

But as the season goes on, the “tank” talk will continue, especially after we find out Zion is going to miss at least half the season, which I predict will happen soon.

Knowing all of this, why shouldn’t the New Orleans Pelicans start tanking now and try to secure another top-5 pick? There are a couple of reasons.

The New Orleans Pelicans are still in it

Take a look at the Western Conference standings and you’ll see why the idea of “tanking” should be far off for the Pelicans.

There are only five teams in the entire conference with winning records and the current 8th seed (the Phoenix Suns) are 3-3 after beating the Pelicans the other night.

The New Orleans Pelicans are only three games out of the play-in discussion, so it’s not like they are completely buried even after a 1-8 start. The Pels have played a tough and busy schedule so far that only gets worse in November, so come see me at the beginning of December and I may be playing a different tune when it comes to tanking.

The other reason is that the Pelicans are trying to change their lackadaisical culture by instilling a competitive spirit in their young players, which you don’t do by waiving the white flag after fewer than ten games.

When and if Zion Williamson returns, this team should be able to go on a run, and if they are still within shouting distance of the play-in, they absolutely should try to get there.

It’s been a brutal start to the season, so I get why fans are tempted to start talking about the NBA Draft, but we are not there….. yet.

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