Pelicans’ bandwagon fills with former haters after blowout win over Nets

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans dribbles against Ben Simmons #10 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans dribbles against Ben Simmons #10 of the Brooklyn Nets (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

It’s only one game, but the New Orleans Pelicans’ blowout win over the Brooklyn Nets put the league on notice.

It was the first time we’ve seen New Orleans with their full starting five and they didn’t disappoint, as four of the five scored in double digits and the lone holdout, Herb Jones, led the team with a whopping +34 net rating.

It couldn’t have gone much better for the Pelicans, who swarmed the Nets early, forcing turnovers and then punishing them down low on the other end. The Pels flashed their athleticism and quality depth and just about everyone got involved, including Trey Murphy III, who ended the game with 16 points and nine rebounds off the bench.

Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum showed why they might be the best “Big 3” in the NBA, scoring 74 combined points as the Pels rolled behind relentless effort and a seemingly never-ending swarm of players.

Their effort didn’t go unnoticed, as the Pelicans vs. Nets was the clear League Pass favorite last night. New Orleans is quickly changing opinions around the league and the bandwagon is starting to fill already.

New Orleans Pelicans: Reactions to the blowout win over the Nets

My favorite Tweet of the night came from bassist Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who summarized the night perfectly:

Flea is right, as the Pels committed just 12 turnovers to 31 assists, with every single player who logged minutes getting at least two dimes. It was a total team effort and New Orleans was sharing the ball, getting everyone involved.

Then you had some former haters jumping onto the bandwagon, as guys like Bill Simmons, who previously called David Griffin “a disaster,” said Zion Williamson was going to leave and that the Pelicans lost the CJ McCollum trade, but was singing a different tune after seeing New Orleans at full strength:

You can read the comments to see what Pelicans’ fans had to say about his sudden change of heart, but let’s just say they didn’t forget.

Those of us who have been watching what this team has been building the last few seasons saw this coming, but the bandwagon got a little more crowded last night as the rest of the league caught up to the fact that the Pelicans are going to be a force to be reckoned with this season.

They also still have enough picks to own the next few drafts or make a big trade for even more talent.

And let’s not forget the pick swap with the Lakers in 2023, which is looking better by the day. This is a good time to be a fan of the New Orleans Pelicans and last night was just the beginning.

Next. NBA Season Awards: Odds and predictions for the Pelicans. dark