2. We were missing a lot of key pieces.
This may come as a cause for concern, especially considering how last season went for us with injuries, but the Pelicans didn’t have all their main rotational pieces with them during the preseason.
Trey Murphy III (the team’s third-best player) missed the entire preseason (and will miss at least the first month of the regular season). The same is true for Jose Alvarado (point-of-attack pest), Larry Nance Jr. (our second-best defender after Herbert Jones), and Cody Zeller. Naji Marshall also missed the last game and a half with a bone bruise in his right knee.
Outside of Zeller (who, by the way, played minutes in the last NBA Finals), all the guys we mentioned are part of our team’s primary rotation during the season. Most teams don’t get to have all their rotation guys healthy at once. But in the regular season, it takes some really bad luck (the kind we had last year) to have four of your top ten/eleven guys missing at once.
Being worried about the injury bug coming back to bite us again is one thing. But let’s do ourselves a favor and not pass judgment on a team because of a four-game sample of games that don’t count for anything and didn’t feature our entire rotation.