New Orleans Pelicans: It’s time to make this rotation change

Dyson Daniels & Larry Nance Jr., New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Dyson Daniels & Larry Nance Jr., New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans dropped their second in a row for the first time this season, losing on the road to the Indiana Pacers.

It was a shootout with little defense and afterwards, coach Willie Green was not happy with his team’s effort:

"“We know we have an opportunity to do something special,” Green said. “But we can’t just roll the balls out and beat teams. We have to work at it. We have to compete. We have to play hard. I just didn’t think we did it up to our level tonight.”"

This is a sentiment that coach Green has expressed before, as he warned his team cannot get “bored of being bored.”

The Pacers were red-hot from long range and the Pelicans did little to stop it, so lost a game in which they scored 122 points, shot nearly 50 percent from the field and hit 41 percent of their 3-point shots as a team, which should not happen.

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It’s only 10 games into the season, and the Pels are in the middle of a brutal stretch of the schedule, so it’s far too early to get upset about one road loss. The Pelicans will be coming home for a six-game stand soon and should start rolling again.

But the guard defense off the bench was a problem last night, which is why coach Willie Green needs to make a change in the rotation.

New Orleans Pelicans: It’s time for Dyson Daniels

Devonte’ Graham and Jose Alvarado played a combined 34 minutes last night and didn’t give the Pelicans much offensively, as Jose went 0-5 for one point and Graham went just 3-of-9 for 11 points.

Defensively, Alvarado was having a hard time with the bigger Tyrese Haliburton, and Graham was also going against bigger wings most of the time, which seemed the perfect time to put in rookie Dyson Daniels.

Daniels is still learning, but at least has the length to be disruptive on the perimeter, and could have potentially made some of those 22 made 3-point attempts at little bit more difficult.

Daniels has shown his defensive chops against the likes of Luka Doncic and LeBron James, so it is time that he starts getting minutes off the bench so that the New Orleans Pelicans don’t have two small guards on the floor at the same time.

Daniels would make also make it easier for the Pels to go small and use Zion Williamson as a center, as he can defend up on the perimeter.

Graham and Alvarado have a 116 defensive rating when on the floor together, so it may be time to stagger them with some minutes from the rookie in order to unlock those small ball lineups without giving up too much defensively.

Coach Willie Green knows how to push his team’s buttons, so I am sure he will figure this out, but right now the bench is in a slump and needs a jolt of energy that Daniels may be able to provide.

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