New Orleans Pelicans named as “friskiest” team in the NBA

Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball against Jose Alvarado #15 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball against Jose Alvarado #15 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans ended last season on a high note, battling their way through the play-in tournament and into the playoffs after a dismal start to the season.

Since then the vibes have been great, as the Pelicans will now have Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum for full seasons (hopefully) next to budding superstar Brandon Ingram, defensive standout Herbert Jones and a bench full of hungry role players like Jose Alvarado and Trey Murphy III.

The national media is starting to notice and the Pelicans were recently featured in a segment of “First things First,” which named them as the “friskiest” team in the NBA.

Frisky has a lot of meanings, so to clarify, they are talking about a team that doesn’t have “established expectations” and could be much better than people expect. The New Orleans Pelicans are one of those teams that could make a big leap and there are good reasons why.

New Orleans Pelicans: Why the Pels are “frisky”


The Pelicans have a chance to really be good defensively this season. They improved incrementally last season and will now have a more seasoned Herb Jones and Jose Alvarado, an improved Trey Murphy III, a whole season of veteran Larry Nance Jr. and a coach in Willie Green who is going to continue to preach defense first.

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When you add rookie Dyson Daniels, another long, versatile player who excels defensively, the Pelicans are not going to be a fun team to play. They are going to get a lot of steals, have a lot of fast breaks and are going to be one of the most entertaining teams in the NBA, but it all starts on the defensive end.


As the “First Things First” segment talked about, the Pelicans are developing some of the best team chemistry in the league. These guys genuinely like each other, as we saw recently when most of the Pels’ starters were out cheering on the Summer League team.

Brandon Ingram was there when Jose Alvarado signed his contract, and the players have been working out together all offseason. Chemistry matters in basketball and the Pelicans have it both on and off the court.

The return

Obviously the biggest boost to the New Orleans Pelicans will be the return of Zion Williamson, who will not only be healthy for the first time in awhile but is going to have a lot of scores to settle after having to listen to people talk greasy about him for over a year.

Zion is not much of a talker, so I expect to see it on the court, where he will be a tempting long-shot MVP candidate, especially if the Pelicans have team success.

The New Orleans Pelicans are going to be a lot of people’s pre-season darlings, so now comes the hard part, living up to the hype.

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