It’s been too much and not enough for the New Orleans Pelicans

Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
1 of 3
New Orleans Pelicans
CJ McCollum #3 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans dropped a home game to the shorthanded Portland Trail Blazers, who were without superstar Damian Lillard.

The Pels only scored 95 points in a disappointing effort, especially after getting a tough road win in Chicago the night before. I did think this would be a low-scoring game, but failing to score 100 points at home is unacceptable.

New Orleans fell to 6-6 on the young season, which is not catastrophic by any means, especially considering they have had a tough schedule to start the season, playing mostly on the road. It showed last night, as the Pels ran out of gas in the second half and only managed to score 38 points total, even though they were playing a team that was also on the tail-end of a road back-to-back.

Related Story. What do you think of the Pelicans' new city editions?. light

It’s not time to panic, but we have seen some disturbing trends over the last few games, and we are seeing too much of some things and not enough of others.

New Orleans Pelicans: Too much/not enough

Too much CJ McCollum

I have no doubt that CJ McCollum is going to turn things around, but right now he is mired in a shooting slump. He is shooting just 40 percent overall for the season and just 29 percent from 3-point range.

Last night he led the Pels with 17 shot attempts and continued to be the primary offensive initiator for the Pelicans. He hit just six of his shots, didn’t get to the free-throw line and turned the ball over five times.

McCollum isn’t a point guard and has so far struggled this season playing on the ball, which is something coach Willie Green needs to adjust.

Not enough Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram as the primary playmakers

So far coach Green has been reluctant to use Zion Williamson in the point forward role outside of the 4th quarter and that needs to change. Zion draws attention every time he touches the ball, and is far more effective moving downhill than he is as a post player.

Everyone else will benefit from his gravity, including McCollum, who could use some easy looks to get himself going.

The Pels have also fared better with Brandon Ingram initiating the offense from the top of the key, as he too draws in defenders and opens up lanes for cutters and shooters.

If the New Orleans Pelicans are not going to start a real point guard, then they need to take advantage of their two best playmakers, and that hasn’t happened nearly enough. Zion had just 14 shots last night and Ingram just 12. They only had five assists between them. These are not role players.

The two of them should be closer to 20 shots apiece and be the ones starting the offense to open up the other guys. I get that coach Green wants his team to share the ball, but you also have to let the stars create advantages.