The New Orleans Pelicans are one of the most exciting NBA teams heading into the 2019 season and will showcase one particular strength.
Even if you are not a fan of the New Orleans Pelicans, it is hard to not get excited for what this tea is capable of not only in 2019 but in the next several years.
The Pelicans have a young core that can blossom together into an elite group that is not only full of promise but it ready to perform as early as 2019. Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart and Brandon Ingram are already all established in the league and Zion Williamson was a man amongst boys in college.
Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker will have learning curves but theirs will be the only significant ones. Add that alongside veterans in Jrue Holiday, J.J. Redick and Derrick Favors and the New Orleans Pelicans have themselves a very solid team.
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The identity of this team is going to be a fun one as they are going to push the tempo and use their young exuberance to outpace, outplay and outlast their opponents. There will be hiccups along the way, but either way, they will showcase a fun style of basketball to watch.
The new pieces on the Pelicans will help contribute to something that will turn into the sole focus of the Pelicans identity: something that they will be better at than every other team in the league, despite being so green.
The New Orleans Pelicans are going to be the best team in the league at running efficient pick and rolls. It might not be as fun as chucking up threes, but the pick and roll game is going to be beautiful in New Orleans.
This is fueled by a ballhandler in Lonzo Ball that already showed he can push the tempo of a team and is a pass-first guard that has shown flashes of elite passing ability. He is not someone who needs to score, making him perfect in this offense.
The real fun comes with his weapons. The combo of Lonzo and Zion is going to be electric with Zion setting picks for Lonzo to drive to the basket and kick it back to Zion for a thunderous slam.
Not only is that going to be fun to watch but the combo of Lonzo and Favors is going to be reliable as well. Favors ranked among the top in the league in pick and roll points per game last year and only three players in the entire league had both a better score frequency and points per game in pick and rolls last year.
Having those two anchoring down the frontcourt as pick and roll weapons is going to create even more fun on the outside, which is where threes are ready to come in.
Brandon Ingram is a natural-born scorer and is going to thrive using these pick and rolls and his length to put up career highs in scoring. Jrue Holiday is an extremely efficient scoring guard and is going to use these picks to get open off ball to drive to the basket.
And the team also has one of the best three-point specialists in Redick, who should come off the bench and deliver a spark at the tail end of these plays. Even though they are all young players, the Pelicans’ front office has accomplished an extremely hard feat of getting players who compliment each other.
That dynamic, led by the new point guard in town, is going to create an offense that every basketball purist in America will love to watch.