New Orleans Pelicans: Important over/unders for the starting lineup

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Brandon Ingram
New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram (14) shoots the ball over Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

New Orleans Pelicans: Starting lineup over/unders

Jonas Valanciunas: +/- 4 attempts from 3-point range per game

Jonas Valanciunas gave us a glimpse of his potential fit with Zion Williamson last season, when he launched the most 3-point shots of his career at 2.1 attempts per game. But for these two bigs to be really effective, Valanciunas needs to step out of the paint more often and be enough of a threat to take his defender with him.

If you look at how center Brook Lopez helped open up the lane for Giannis Antetokounmpo, then you can see how having a stretch five can help a paint-dominant forward who wants to get into the lane. Valanciunas doesn’t have to morph into Stephen Curry, as the Pelicans also want him down low to vacuum up offensive boards, but a few more attempts per game would be helpful to the offensive spacing.

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Brandon Ingram: +/- 6 attempts from 3-point range per game

For the two seasons prior to the last one, Ingram took over six 3-point attempts per game, but last season dropped down to just over four as he took over the Pelicans’ offense.

Ingram is a deadly mid-range scorer, one of the best in the NBA, but now that Zion Williamson is back, it will help the offense if he can do more scoring from range, as the two players like to work in the same areas.

This will also allow the Pelicans to run pick-and-roll with Ingram and Zion, as teams will have to respect Zion’s rolls to the hoop, which should give Ingram plenty of open looks when they go under screens.

Ingram has the length to shoot over anyone and it is going to be tough for defenses to recover to the 3-point line if they are worried about Zion, so I suspect both Ingram and Jonas will hit the over for 3-point attempts next season.