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keltonAve
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jul 2022
202 posts

Realistic Expectations


I bought season tickets for the first season, so, over time, I've learned to take a breath and not let my enthusiasm get the better of me.

This past season was very encouraging, but I'm not quite ready to print the shirts. Making it to the second round would be a very big deal to me, but I'm not positive we're there yet.

What's the consensus up in here?


tehchampion140
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Sep 2010
17899 posts

Realistically, barring any catastrophic injury luck, we should at the very minimum make the 2nd round of the playoffs. We are just coming off a competitive first round series with one of the best teams in the league last year without Zion. This roster is more than talented and cohesive enough to get a top 4 seed, even with the West expected to be very competitive next year.


TigerphanTigerman
Elon Fan
Member since Jul 2019
96 posts

Roster construction matches what the Suns have, and might surpass it considering what Zion brings to the table. I think we should expect conference finals.


keltonAve
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jul 2022
202 posts

It probably will take awhile for Willie To figure out how to use Zion in a full game situation. It'll also take time for the other guys to figure out how to play with a new lineup.


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61
TigerinATL
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Feb 2005
58443 posts

The Pels have 2 main questions/weaknesses: ball handling and rim protection. It’s possible they have enough related skills to make up for it, but we won’t know until we see it in action. The answer to those questions determines how far the Pels go.


supe12sta12z
Tiger Town
Member since Apr 2012
6047 posts

Ball handling? Explain.


GOP_Tiger
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2005
11289 posts
 Online 

The two questions I have are:

How much better is Zion going to be, compared to when we saw him last?

How much better will Herb, Trey, and Jose be?

The answers to those questions are the difference between the second round of the playoffs and making it to the Finals.


saints5021
USA Fan
Louisiana
Member since Jul 2010
15186 posts

82-0


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220
TigerinATL
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Feb 2005
58443 posts

quote:

Ball handling? Explain.


Ingram/Zion/CJ are all more secondary creators. Will they be able to create the shot they want in the playoffs when the defense is trying to stop them? Zion regularly turned the ball over in crunch time 2 years ago when refs swallowed their whistles and he faced physical double teams. Ingram took a nice step forward last year in this department, but I'd still consider it a question that needs to be answered.


Hazelnut
LA-Lafayette Fan
Member since May 2011
16349 posts

This board has always said that barring bad injury luck this team can be very good. But as a long time fan I realize how hard it is for us to not have an injury frick us. That happening seems more likely than not if history has told us anything. Maybe we take a turn with the injury luck. But realistically, I'll believe it when I see it. Until then, I'm cautiously optimistic about this team

With that said, this is the most optimistic I've been about this team since I followed them late in the CP3 years
This post was edited on 7/16 at 4:31 pm


ned nederlander
Member since Dec 2012
2112 posts
 Online 

We took the number 1 seed to six games, and it took Chris Paul putting together a literal perfect game to avoid a game a 7.

We started Jaxson Hayes in all 6 playoff games. He was awful. Clearly the worst significant player in the series for us.

If the pelicans team that played the suns replaces Jaxon Hayes with 2020-2021 Zion, a guy who put up an historically efficient 27 ppg and 7 rbs, the pelicans have a punchers chance to beat anyone in the west with golden state being the one team I would categorically say is better than Pels on paper.

If this team is healthy, they should be in the 3-6 seed range and be a very, very hard out for any team in the playoffs.


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81
ForeverEllisHugh
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Aug 2016
11758 posts
 Online 

quote:

Ingram/Zion/CJ are all more secondary creators.


I think CJ can take a step forward here. Hopefully the turnovers in the last Suns game will motivate him.

As for rim protection, if Jonas gets banged up we’re in trouble unless Jax or Billy can step up.


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LSUBadger
Member since Jan 2014
1921 posts

Opponents may have guys who can make you want to take the ball out of Zion, BI and CJ’s hands. Most do not have three guys they can put on the floor who can do that. You give it to our guy who has the mismatch

Throw in Herb and Daniels and we have a lot of guys who can efficiently handle the ball and initiate the offense.


BamaPelican
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Apr 2022
43 posts

The team got more out of CJ and BI at the 1/2 in the playoffs than I think anyone had a right to guess.

My biggest concern is wearing CJ down or him getting hurt because I don’t see a satisfactory replacement on the bench for his combination of efficient off-ball shot making and clutch time play making…at least not yet.

That and Zions less than stellar defense, coupled with a starting roster that isn’t replete with strong defenders outside of Herb, are the two things I would see as potential Achilles heels.

IMO the Pels could really benefit from finding a veteran combo guard that could give a bit of relief to CJ and BI both.

Maybe a Josh Richardson, Landry Shamet, Jordan Clarkson, Gary Harris type that could be swapped for Graham with some sweetener.

Of course those guys would take minutes from Dyson Daniels, so if the front office feels like he is ready then let him play, but it feels like he needs a bit of time and a stopgap vet might do the trick.
This post was edited on 7/16 at 4:58 pm


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52
armsdealer
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Feb 2016
7852 posts
 Online 

The Pels should be competing for the top seed this year.

They were a very, very good team with CJ and BI. Now we will have CJ, BI and Zion. No reason not to compete for the top seed.


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Epic Cajun
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Lafayette, LA
Member since Feb 2013
28865 posts

I’m less concerned about ball handling than I am about rim protection. We have at least as much ballhandling as the Celtics had.


BamaPelican
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Apr 2022
43 posts

quote:

I’m less concerned about ball handling than I am about rim protection. We have at least as much ballhandling as the Celtics had.


Seems valid. Pels were bottom 3rd in contested 2pt shots per game and like 27th in blocks per game. Does adding Zion help or hurt those stats (swapping Jaxson out)?
This post was edited on 7/16 at 5:13 pm


Kerchek
Member since Oct 2021
585 posts

Realistically... 50 wins.


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supe12sta12z
Tiger Town
Member since Apr 2012
6047 posts

If an in shape Zion can move the way he did at Duke with that ability to stop on a dime, change direction, and his leaping ability, he’s going to be the answer to a lot of defensive questions. I optimistic he’s going to be an elite defender in Green’s system.


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Colonel Flagg
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Apr 2010
20923 posts

Many want to point to the Pelicans flaws. They are not that big compared to the huge strengths the Pelican roster does have. No team is perfect in the league.


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