Why can’t the New Orleans Pelicans beat the bad teams?

Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)
Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans are one off the most frustrating teams in the NBA.

After losing to the Houston Rockets last night, the Pels are just 7-19, good for the worst record in the Western Conference.

It turns out that losing your best player and focal point of the offense is tough to come back from, so I don’t think anyone is all that surprised about their record without Zion Williamson in the lineup.

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What’s frustrating about this team is that they will look great one night and absolutely terrible the next, which is partially a product of being so young and learning how to play with consistency night after night.

It is also the product of having one of the worst benches in the NBA, as the Pelicans haven’t stolen any games behind a big effort from one of their bench players, which good teams do from time to time.

The Pelicans are an enigma, not because they are losing, but how they are doing it.

All of the New Orleans Pelicans’ wins have come against good teams

All seven of the Pelicans’ wins have come against teams that would at least be in the play-in if the season ended today.

They have beaten the Timberwolves, Grizzlies, Clippers (x2), Wizards, Jazz and Mavericks in their seven wins. The T’Wolves are the worst of the bunch, but are still the 9th seed in the West, while the rest of the Pels wins have all come against teams who will likely make the playoffs, with five of them against teams with title aspirations.

On the flip side, the Pelicans have lost to some of the worst teams in the NBA, including the Kings (x2), Thunder, Pacers and last night to the Rockets.

If you think about it, those five losses are the difference between the Pelicans being in the play-in or not, so even though they are losing, there is still hope for the season, but only if they beat the bad teams.

It’s a good sign that this young team can step up and play well against quality opponents, but they have to bring that same energy and focus against the bad teams as well.

Of course, right now, the Pelicans ARE one of the bad teams, so I don’t expect them to win every game, but they should at least beat the really bad teams and right now they are not even doing that.

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