Pelicans Finish the Preseason Without a Win
The New Orleans Pelicans lost their final preseason game this week, 134-119, to the Toronto Raptors. This means they finished their exhibition schedule without a victory.
Very few teams in the NBA have done that...in history. The Pelicans were the only NBA team to go win-less this preseason. Three teams had only one win, and one of those teams was the Boston Celtics. Which means we shouldn't put a lot of stock into these results, because we all know the Celtics are one of the best teams in the NBA.
But, at the same time, most NBA observers know that the Pelicans are setup to regress from last year's NBA Playoff Semifinal team. That squad has lost their on-court general, Rajon Rondo, who is now in Los Angeles with LeBron James. They also passed on retaining NBA All Star DeMarcus Cousins, who is now with Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors.
The team attempted to fill those spaces, but there are a lot of questions around the talent they added.
The Pels were able to get Julius Randle, a former 7th overall pick from the 2014 NBA Draft, from the Lakers. As well as Jahlil Okafor, the 3rd overall pick from the 2015 NBA Draft, from the Brooklyn Nets. Those two free agents deals represent the answer to losing Rondo and Cousins.
On paper, this team has the makings of a young super-team. You have two Top 7 NBA Draft picks from the last 4 years, to go with Anthony Davis, who has to be considered one of the best players in the NBA (he thinks he is the best). The downside is that Randle and Okafor both average about 13 points a game at the NBA level, and the 6-11 Okafor only averages 5 rebounds a game in his first 3 seasons.
To be honest, we might be discounting the impacts of a full season of Nikola Mirotic, and the addition of veteran leadership from Jarrett Jack. The team might be better than we think right now, but we're going to need to see it before we believe it.
The regular season begins Wednesday in Houston.