What’s up with the New Orleans Pelicans?
After a scorching, too-close-to-the-sun start to the season with big wins over the Brooklyn Nets and the Charlotte Hornets, the finally complete New Orleans Pelicans are appearing to crash down back to earth.
It’s nowhere near tragic, but it’s been swift and loud, dropping games to strong Western Conference teams: the Phoenix Suns and, yes, the Utah Jazz.
Injuries were the problem again. Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and Herb Jones all missed two games in a row. CJ McCollum was tasked to carry the scoring load in those two games and shot horribly at a combined 12-of-39 from the field.
Both Williamson and Jones are game-time decisions, and the Pelicans’ fate will depend on the availability of the two important players on the starting lineup.
What’s up with the Los Angeles Clippers?
The Los Angeles Clippers are also looking at this season as a reunion tour of sorts, now that Paul George and Kawhi Leonard are both back and healthy.
After a similarly good start for the Clippers, they’ve lost three straight games for a 2-3 win-loss record. Leonard only played in two of those games. George has so far missed only one game, but he hasn’t been shooting the ball particularly well (he has scored more than 16 points only once, in an explosive 40-point game versus Sacramento).
It hasn’t been looking good for the Clippers, and it would take both George and Leonard at a hundred percent on a regular basis to bring them back to elite level.
Storyline to watch out for
If Williamson is able to suit up versus the Clippers, then he’s the storyline to watch out for. After missing the entire 2021-2022 season, all eyes are on the Zion Comeback Tour.
It remains to be seen if his recent hip injury will be either another chapter to add to his legend or another disappointing roadblock.
The Pelicans look to be a team on the cusp of greatness, with a new bunch of guys stepping up in the absence of the stars. Players like Trey Murphy III and Jose Alvarado are stepping up into the spotlight with huge games.
If the Pelicans’ replacements continue their hot streak, then the Clippers should add another L to the column.