The New Orleans Pelicans dropped to 4-3 after losing in overtime to the Los Angeles Lakers last night on the road in LA.
The Pels had a chance to close out the game in regulation, but rookie Dyson Daniels couldn’t knock down his free throws and the Lakers were able to tie before eventually winning in extra time.
It’s just one loss, and the Pels were missing two of their starters, but it was a game they probably should have won and showed one of the things that coach Willie Green has been worrying about early in the season.
New Orleans glided through the first half and were down by as many as 16 before turning it on in the second and coming all of the way back. The Pelicans are a better, deeper team than the Lakers right now, but you can’t coast against anyone or decide to only show up for a half, especially against a team with two future Hall-of-Famers.
The New Orleans Pelicans are a very good team but are learning quickly that it takes more than talent to win in the NBA, you have to be willing to grind every night.
New Orleans Pelicans can’t get bored
Early in the season, coach Green warned that if a team truly wants to be great, they can’t “get bored of being bored.”
This means that teams have to be willing to do the boring things, the hard work, the grueling grind to win night after night in a league full of the best players in the world.
You also can’t take anything for granted. The Lakers have been bad this season, but that doesn’t mean the Pels are just going to walk into their home building and wipe them out.
Teams have to carry the same focus, energy and attention to detail into every single game, which is a grind both physically and mentally, but what it takes if you want to win a title.
The Pels went up early and it looked like they might coast to an easy win, but then they lost focus, only scored 17 points in the second quarter while giving up 33, and the Lakers were able to get out to a big lead.
This is exactly what coach Willie Green was talking about, as New Orleans was already looking ahead to the next game when there was still a lot of work to be done against the Lakers.
To win a title, you have to be ready to put in the same work and effort in practice that you do in games, and to never coast, even when it looks like you have an easy win. An 82 game season can be boring at times, but teams have to embrace the grind of that boredom, which can be the difference between a deep playoff run and an early exit.