New Orleans Pelicans
Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson are unable to score their way out of a deficit against the Kings.(Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

In a game, they were expected the win the New Orleans Pelicans lost to the Sacramento Kings 125-140. This loss pushes the Pelicans further away from the 9th seed and reduces their chances at a playoff berth. In previous games, the Pelicans were limited by their turnovers and lack of offense. However, in this game, their offense was not a problem at all. Even their turnovers weren’t excessive until the 2nd half. The only thing the New Orleans Pelicans lacked was defense.

At the end of the first quarter, the Kings lead the Pelicans 39-49. A ten-point deficit. These points came from the Kings almost perfect field goal percentage in the first quarter. They made 7 of their first 8 3-pointers and the Pelicans did nothing to adjust at all until the second half. Lazy movement and sloppy defending lead Bogdan Bogdanovic to not miss a 3-pointer until the second quarter. Bogdanovic would finish the game with 35 points, making 6 of 9 3s.

In the paint, the New Orleans Pelicans did well, especially when Zion Williamson was on the court. He provided a solid foundation on the defensive and offensive side of the ball for the Pelicans. Unfortunately for them he only played 22 minutes. In the 26 minutes, he didn’t play, the Kings’ quick ball movement allowed for easy access to the paint and opened up players for scoring opportunities all across the court.

Just when you thought that the New Orleans Pelicans had their problems fixed, their faults show. The Pelicans had been lacking defense all season, especially in the bubble, but their potent scoring with Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson kept them in games. But when the Kings got hot and started shooting well, the Pelicans stood no chance.

If the New Orleans Pelicans want the chance to get into the playoffs, they will need to readjust. They thought that once they had Zion back, they would ready to compete. That arrogance and lack of preparation lead them to lose against the Sacramento Kings and may kick them out of the playoff race.