Pelicans Drop to 0-3 in Preseason After Losing Battle of the Birds with Hawks

Losing in the preseason isn’t a problem on it’s own. But after a third consecutive defeat plagued by turnovers, low energy, and poor shooting, there has to be some level of concern for the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pelicans lost on the road to the Atlanta Hawks, falling 110-105. Though the final score was close, New Orleans trailed by as many as 29 points before connecting on a barrage of three-pointers late to close the gap.

Rookie Jordan Hawkins led the Pelicans with 17 points in 22 minutes of action. Zion Williamson was the only starter to reach double figures, adding 16 points, two rebounds, and five assists. EJ Liddell added 10 points on perfect 4-for-4 shooting, with a pair of made three pointers.

“Hawk” From The Wing

Hawkins seems to have found his stroke from long distance. After going 1-for-6 from beyond the arc in his debut against the Orlando Magic, he’s made 8 of his last 17 three point attempts, including 5-of-11 on Saturday.

He, along with Liddell and fellow reserves Kira Lewis Jr. (2-5) and Kaiser Gates (2-4), were the only Pelicans players to shoot above 40 percent on their three point attempts and accounted for 11 of New Orleans 15 triples in the game. The rest of the team was a combined 4-of-17 from long range.

None of the aforementioned quartet should be expected to log heavy minutes during the regular season, so the Pelicans are going to have to get better shooting; in particular from their starters.

Brandon Ingram (0-3) and CJ McCollum (2-6) both struggled from outside. While McCollum is still shooting 40 percent overall from three-point range during the preseason, Ingram had made only one triple in 10 attempts so far.

Injury Concerns

Injuries have been the main concern since Williamson was drafted in 2019, and this offseason has been no different. The Pelicans are already playing without Trey Murphy III, Larry Nance Jr., and Jose Alvarado. Now two more names may be added to the list of the wounded.

Herbert Jones sustained in injury to his neck that required him to exit the game in the first half. He did not return to play, though his status was upgraded from doubtful to questionable during the game.

Naji Marshall went down with a hyperextended knee during the second half and he was ruled out for a return. His status has yet to be updated.

Daniels Continues To Contribute

Though he didn’t reach double figures in the scoring column, Dyson Daniels continued to show why the Pelicans expect big things from him in his second season.

Daniels had nine points, five assists, four rebounds, and four steals, while committing only one turnover in 22 minutes. He’s averaging 10.6 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.3 steals, and 0.3 blocks over the first three games while shooting 52% from the floor (41.6 3P%). Daniels has been the most consistent performer for the Pelicans throughout the preseason.

By the Numbers

The Pelicans were beaten on both sides of the glass by the Hawks. Atlanta outrebounded New Orleans 46-37.

Both teams were sloppy with the basketball, committing 23 turnovers each. However, the Pelicans were still outscored in points off turnovers 25-24.

New Orleans finished -11 in fast break points, -16 in points in the paint, and -3 at the free throw line.

The Pelicans were +18 in three-point scoring, the first time they have outscored their opponents from distance in the preseason.

New Orleans scored 35 points in the third quarter after scoring 36 in the first half.

Next Up: New Orleans Pelicans at Orlando Magic on Tuesday, Oct. 16


One thought on “Pelicans Drop to 0-3 in Preseason After Losing Battle of the Birds with Hawks

  1. We are undersized and have no viable point guard options to facilitate the offense. Time to start spending those draft picks.

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