Let’s Geaux Streaking
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – Basketball is truly a game of runs, and for the New Orleans Pelicans it has been elongated season of running suicides.
On January 6th, the Pelicans were 24-14 and in 1st place in the NBA’s western conference. Today, February 7th, the Pelicans are 28-27 sitting in 9th place in the western conference. Although, that’s a drastic change, it does not tell the full story on how the Pelicans are at this point.
In the early months of the season, the team were a flirting with the .500 mark. Mid-November, the group was able to rattle off three straight wins over the Rockets, Grizzlies, & Bulls, completing their first streak of the season.
After that, the roller coaster started having major twists and turns. The Pelicans started December off with a 7-game win streak including impressive victories over Denver and Phoenix (twice) at home. The team was able to solidify itself as a legit championship contender in the West. These were all great wins without Brandon Ingram being out with a concussion/toe contusion.
But what goes up, must come down. The bayou birds followed up the win streak with a 4-game losing streak with 2 losses to the Utah Jazz in Utah. (Seriously, the Jazz. Why are they even called the Jazz? There’s nothing Jazzy about Utah)
The team was able to get back on track by reeling off 5 more wins in a row ending December with a 23-13 record. The Pelicans were top 5 in defensive and offensive efficiency. Then on January 2nd versus the Philadelphia 76ers, the team suffered an injury hole it couldn’t fill. Zion Williamson was diagnosed with a hamstring strain that has him sidelined.
The month of January had been brutal. The dog days of the NBA. The Pelicans lost a season-high 10 games in a row, while dropping 12 spots in the standings. That stretch was demoralizing. It had Pels Twitter in a frenzy causing epic battles of tweet-wrestling battles and testing of one’s fandom. But the energy is shifting…
Injuries, of course, have played a major role. But from my viewpoint, the team lost its swag. Coach Willie Green mentioned that the team needed to find their “joy” again. He believes that “it’s coming back” which started with a comeback win over the Los Angelas Lakers.
After Billy Hernangomez scored 22 points and a game-high 16 rebounds in a win over the Sacramento Kings, he explained “it felt good to be out there with my brothers, my family playing basketball.”
The camaraderie of this team seems to be at the center of what they do, and also impacts the front office as the trade deadline soon approaches.
This team seems to be turning a corner and trending upward after winning 2 games in a row. Let’s see if they can pick up another win vs Atlanta tonight to go streaking, again. I know it is Mardi Gras season, but please leave your clothes on. I do not have any beads.