The New Orleans Pelicans need more of these 3 things

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) looks to pass the ball against New Orleans Pelicans guard Dyson Daniels Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham (2) looks to pass the ball against New Orleans Pelicans guard Dyson Daniels Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans have gotten off to a good start through early-season injuries and a road-heavy schedule.

There isn’t much to complain about, as the stars have done their thing when they’ve been in there, and the Pels have gotten contributions from just about everyone on the bench.

They look like contenders if they can stay healthy, but they are still a work in progress as Willie Green figures out his rotations and the players continue to gel and build chemistry.

As this team continues to evolve, there are some things I’d like to see more of as the season progresses.

New Orleans Pelicans: More 3’s for Trey Murphy III

Trey Murphy III is the Pelicans best 3-point shooter and has averaged 44.9 percent this season on 5.4 attempts per game.

The problem is that with so many offensive options, the Pelicans don’t run many plays for TMIII, especially over the last three games, when he has taken just 4.5 attempts from long range per game.

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Ideally, he’d be getting more like 7-8 attempts per game, as this is a guy who can knock them down and he should get plenty of opportunity with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram drawing all of the attention.

But coach Willie Green could run more plays for TMIII as the featured option and get him a few more shots per game, as he has the potential to be one of the best 3-point shooters in the league.

More 3-pointers for everyone!

I like that the Pelicans don’t rely heavily on the 3-point shot. Why should they? They have one of the best paint players in the league in Zion and Brandon Ingram is pretty much unstoppable in the mid-range. The Pels attack the rim and are one of the top teams in the league in points in the paint and currently have the second-highest scoring offense in the NBA.

But the Pels also currently have six guys shooting at least 40 percent from long range and that doesn’t even include CJ McCollum. The Pelicans are dead last in 3-point attempts this season but 8th in overall percentage, so they can add another element to their offensive attack by punishing teams more with the 3-point shots when they are loading the paint or when New Orleans gets out in transition off of steals.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, so the Pels don’t need to start chucking a million 3-point shots, but the numbers say they should shoot a few more of them, as they have players who can hit them.

More Dyson Daniels

It’s a testament to the Pelicans’ depth that Dyson Daniels can barely get on the floor, but the rookie has only played 11 minutes on average in the four games in which he has appeared.

When he has played, he’s made an impact on defense and as a playmaker, and he gives the Pels an element defensively that Devonte’ Graham does not. Graham hasn’t been playing big minutes either, but it would be nice to see more of Daniels, as the rookie is ahead of schedule and ready on the defensive end. The Pelicans are currently 3rd overall in steals but just 26th in blocked shots, and Daniels could help improve both of those numbers.

The complaint box is nearly empty at this point in the season, which is a great sign, but the Pelicans still have room to grow on both ends and can become more dynamic offensively and lock down the perimeter even more on defense.

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