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New Orleans Pelicans

Reasons for Optimism and Concern

Jake Madison



Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire

The New Orleans Pelicans season started out with a disappointing loss. But the Locked on Pelicans crew is here to give you a needed dose of optimism! After reviewing the offseason and predicting the team’s record, we take a look at reasons to be optimistic this season. And some concerns that are still lingering.


Biggest reason for optimism from preseason? Biggest concern?

Jermaine – There’s a long season to pat ourselves on the back. For now, major red flag: we still can’t stay healthy. Once again, we’re down a couple starters to begin the season, and I worry we’ll find ourselves tinkering with lineups well into the new year. Not a good sign.

Raby – The biggest reason for optimism is the talent the Pelicans have. As I stated before, this is the most talented team in the Anthony Davis era. The addition of Chris Finch also should create a huge impact for the team offensively. But like Jermaine said, it won’t mean much if the talent is in suits. Rondo missing the first few weeks of the season isn’t ideal, and the wing position is already thin after the Hill injury — one more injury in that area could be devastating.

Rory – I am most optimistic about this roster’s basketball IQ. Cousins and Rondo are among the smartest players in the league (even if they are also among the most emotionally volatile), and the addition of Tony Allen and Ian Clark only boost the team’s collective intelligence. We may finally get to see of Gentry’s true offensive genius finally unleashed. However, I can’t emphasize “may” enough. Not to parrot Jermaine and Raby, but injuries remain the primary concern. We are already starting the year down two starters, and the “talent” down the bench behind our two transcendent frontcourt starters is…alarming.

Luis-  Biggest reason for optimism, that first quarter of the pre-season. Biggest concern, the rotational defense every other game. That first quarter was pretty perfect for what Pel’s fans thought this team could look like. But, the rotational defense on the perimeter has looked really bad at teams. The Solomon Hill loss was a big deal for the team and it was glaring at those moments.


Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below!

Jake J. Madison is the host of the daily Locked on Pelicans podcast. Covering the Pelicans and NBA since 2010, you can catch him on various sports programs around New Orleans and nationally.

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