(Photograph by C. Morgan Engel/Getty Photos)
The New Orleans Pelicans are presently lacking out on the furor of the NBA playoffs after an underwhelming common season.
The Pelicans had been tipped as one of many Western Convention’s hottest groups to look at forward of the beginning of the 2020-21 season and, whereas there have been loads of seductive flashes, there was additionally a number of inconsistency. Below the mandate of recent head coach Stan Van Gundy, the Pelicans took fairly a couple of months to search out their footing—a stark distinction to a different new rent and Van Gundy counterpart, Tom Thibodeau, for example.
Van Gundy was meant to implement a defense-heavy give attention to this Pelicans squad which regularly appeared to lack the main target to resolve video games below earlier coach Alvin Gentry. As an alternative, New Orleans was truly one of many poorest defensive groups within the NBA for a lot of the yr. The Pelicans completed the yr as a backside ten protection, however surprisingly, a prime ten offense.
Normally, NBA offenses are inclined to run by means of the fingers of the guards. The likes of Trae Younger and Damian Lillard are positive to return to thoughts after a few of their latest playoff heroics. However on the Pelicans, this was not truly the case.
As an alternative, for the likes of Lonzo Ball and Eric Bledsoe to call the 2 starters, there was a much bigger onus on spacing the ground and defending exhausting in order that the wings—Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram—had extra room to function and extra shooters to search out.
It was an attention-grabbing position reversal that makes grading the Pelicans’ guards slightly tougher than it already is given all of their specific conditions.
With that being stated, right here is the top of the yr assessment for New Orleans’ level guards: