The New Orleans Pelicans gained’t be within the NBA Playoffs this season however they’re most likely quite a bit nearer to getting again there than you would possibly suppose.
The Pels have been the prototypical proficient younger workforce in that they might play with anybody but additionally lose to anybody.
They positively had some gamers who underperformed, however numerous the issues with the Pelicans revolved round their youth, particularly when it got here to blowing leads and successful shut video games.
These are two areas by which younger groups usually battle, so it shouldn’t be an enormous shock, however provided that these are issues that may be improved, followers ought to have some optimism heading into subsequent season.
The Pelicans will undoubtedly shuffle their roster some this offseason, however they’ve the flexibility to get to the playoffs simply by cleansing up a few of their points with blown leads and shut video games.
New Orleans Pelicans: Blowing leads and shut video games
The Pelicans misplaced 14 video games this season by which they held a double-digit lead sooner or later within the recreation.
We wrote about why the Pels can’t maintain leads, and it’s one thing that must be addressed, as this was the primary purpose they didn’t make the playoffs.
One of many largest causes is free throws, because the Pelicans have been as soon as once more one of many worst free-throw taking pictures groups within the NBA, which is a big issue if you find yourself attempting to carry leads.
Fouls enable the opposite workforce to cease the clock, gradual the sport down, and when you don’t make the free throws, they permit the opposite workforce to get again into the sport, which occurred repeatedly to the Pelicans this season.
Their 14 losses after holding double-digit leads have been probably the most within the NBA this season and the first purpose the Pelicans didn’t make the playoffs.
The opposite purpose is that the New Orleans Pelicans have been horrible within the “clutch” which is basically the previous few minutes of an in depth recreation.
The Pelicans solely gained three of their 13 video games that have been 3-points or nearer, one of many worst marks within the NBA. A part of that is once more due to free-throw taking pictures, however the Pelicans additionally turned the ball over quite a bit in these conditions, usually didn’t get good photographs and allowed straightforward ones on the opposite finish.
These are errors of youth, as we noticed within the Indiana recreation earlier this season when the Pelicans gave away an in depth recreation in the previous few seconds.
The New Orleans Pelicans will get higher in these conditions as they mature and if they will flip these numbers round, shall be proper within the combine subsequent season.