3 fatal flaws that could crush the Pelicans postseason hopes

Mar 15, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Pelicans head coach Willie Green talks with
Mar 15, 2024; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Pelicans head coach Willie Green talks with / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Lack of a go-to scorer in crunch time

New Orleans boasts one of the most balanced units in the NBA. CJ McCollum, Brandon Ingram, and Zion Williamson all score more than 19 points per contest, and Trey Murphy III, Jonas Valanciunas, and Herb Jones chip in double digit points per outing.

Combine those six with Jose Alvarado's steady backup point guard play, Jordan Hawkins gravity, and Naji Marshall's wing play, the Pelicans have a solid rotation of NBA players.

However, New Orleans sorely lacks a player that can go bucket-for-bucket with opposing stars down the stretch of big games. When the playoffs come, scoring is hard to come by. Opposing scouts and defenses snuff out the actions that have led to easy buckets all season, defenses ramp up, and role players jumpers get a little stiff. The best NBA teams have players that can get a bucket at any time. New Orleans lacks that.

Brandon Ingram was brought in to be the go-to scorer in "The Blender," and he has yet to make an impact as a 25+ point per night player. CJ McCollum has microwave potential, but his 30-point outbursts are few and far between. It comes down to Zion Williamson.

Zion Williamson is a walking oxymoron on an NBA court, creating buckets for teammates and himself by barreling to the rim like a freight train and finishing with a feather soft touch. The jury is out on how that will translate deep into April and May.

Pelicans fans have waited five years to see Zion take the court in a playoff atmosphere, and 2024 presents the first chance they'll have to see him in action on the biggest stage. New Orleans desparately needs Williamson to become a 25 points a night player down the stretch for them to reach their ultimate goal of advancing through the playoffs.