Different Team, Same Results…so Far.

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Published: December 6, 2016

With 22 games down we are now over a quarter of the way through the NBA season, and the results so far haven’t been exactly what Pelicans’ fans hoped despite all the changes made to the roster over the summer. In fact, the results eerily resemble last season’s debacle.

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A horrid losing streak to start the season (1-11 vs 2-10). A hope-inspiring win streak (3-games vs 4-games). A losing stretch bringing everyone back down to Earth. Injuries, D-league call ups, streaky shooters, surprisingly productive but flawed back-up guards forced into bigger roles. Not often has a team changed so much only to go down the same path as the previous season (7-15 vs 6-16).

Even though this iteration of the team seems headed in the same direction as the last, how they are getting there is drastically different. The Pelicans may be close to the same in the win-column, but on the court there is at least a noticeable difference:

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The Pels have been much more competitive on defense, and thus, the scoreboard. With 3 OT losses and 2 others by <5 points, the team has at least given themselves a shot at winning games. Even if they haven’t taken them, that says something about the on-court product. The question now, as with much of last season, is in the hunt for consistency and identity. The effort to get there is improved, but there needs to be more.

Maybe it is the rookie. Maybe it is “fit” thing. Maybe it is the already improved the defense. Maybe it is the expectations. Maybe it is just because they are new. But there is more hope for more. First and foremost is Davis, who is improved and actually first and foremost this year. Galloway and Moore vs Eric Gordon and Toney Douglas. Solomon Hill vs Alonzo Gee. You can see the differences that came with the changes, and the changes aren’t finished yet. This thing is still closer the beginning than the end.

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