Through the first 11 games of the season, it’s safe to say that the New Orleans Pelicans have some identity issues. This is certainly not the same team that stormed out of the gate last season before injuries derailed all their momentum. The Pelicans statistically have a bottom five offense and a below-average defense. Those two stats perfectly sum up their 5-6 start to the season.
New Orleans’ team struggles are a direct correlation to some of their individual struggles, as you would expect. Let’s explore four Pelicans that are feeling these individual struggles the most.
4. Kira Lewis Jr.
With Jose Alvarado still out with an ankle injury that he suffered during the offseason, there was an opportunity for Kira Lewis Jr. to make lemonade out of lemons to begin the year. After a somewhat disappointing start to his career, the No. 13 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft was likely going to be awarded minutes in the absence of Alvarado.
Considering that Lewis can enter restricted free agency after this season, this may in fact end up being his last shot to prove his worth to the Pelicans. Through the first few weeks of the season, Lewis hasn’t done much. In 10 games played, he’s only averaging four points and two assists on 35 percent shooting from the field.
Any hope that even the most optimistic Pelicans fan had in Lewis is probably now gone. Maybe Lewis is still able to revive his career in the NBA, but it’s unlikely that will be in New Orleans at this point.