New Orleans Pelicans: What’s good, what’s not after 10 games

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, CJ McCollum
Tyrese Haliburton #0 of the Indiana Pacers dribbles the ball while being guarded by CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans have had an up and down start to the season and their record reflects it, as they are .500 after 10 games.

The Pels just lost their second in a row for the first time this season, but are in the middle of a tough stretch of the schedule that has them playing 8-of-11 on the road.

There is plenty to be excited about after the first 10 games, especially with a six-game home stand looming when the Pels should be able to get right and start rolling.

So even though the record is just 5-5, it’s mostly been good for the Pels, especially considering the early injuries to Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. But there have been a few concerns as well and things we’d like to see more of as the season progresses.

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So here are some things that have been good and some things that haven’t, starting with the basics.

New Orleans Pelicans: Offense and defense

The good

The Pelicans are currently the highest scoring team in the NBA, averaging 118.5 points per game. They are doing it in unconventional style for the modern NBA, as they don’t shoot a ton of threes and instead get most of their points in the paint and mid-range.

All five starters are averaging double digits, and Trey Murphy III and Larry Nance Jr. are both chipping in off the bench. After that it gets a little more inconsistent, so the Pels do need more regular scoring contributions from 8-10 off their bench, but overall the offense has been humming.

The bad

The New Orleans Pelicans currently have the 20th ranked defense in the NBA, allowing 114.6 points per game, which is not where you need to be if you want to contend for a title. The Pels were 13th in the league last season and allowing four fewer points per game, so this is something that needs to improve as the season goes on.

We may need to see more of Dyson Daniels off the bench, as his defense has been sound in the little play he’s gotten and right now the two small guards aren’t getting it done. The Pels also aren’t blocking many shots and could use some more rim protection, so we may see some Jaxson Hayes minutes in the future.