In the biggest trade of this season, DeMarcus Cousins was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans for pennies on the dollar and the Pelicans making the playoffs was the talk of the town. Three weeks later, that talk is squandered. The New Orleans Pelicans are 4-6 in their last ten games played and 13th in the western conference. Their hopes of making the playoffs are fading with every game and the Pelicans front office needs to do a lot to make this team winnable.
The Pelicans right now are in a situation quite similar to the Miami Heat situation from six years ago when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined forces. Initially, the Heat struggled to win games but eventually they were able to get going. For that, roles had to be set. Wade and Bosh had to take a back-seat and let James be the alpha-male. Similarly, Cousins and Anthony Davis are two players who’ve carried their respective teams all their careers and taking a back seat for any of these players would be tough to say the least. Cousins’ and Davis’ usage rates are no.2 and no.6 in the league. This contradicts the old saying “There can’t be two alpha males on the same team”.
The Pelicans aren’t a team with a lot of role players and bench depth. Apart from Davis and Cousins, Jrue Holiday is the only promising player and even his numbers are dropping ever since Cousins came to Big Easy. Even if Davis and Cousins both score 30 night-in and night-out, there’s no way they’ll get to winning ways as there is no supporting cast, no support to arguably the best front court-duo in the league right now.
The Pelicans need to come up with a system. The management needs to provide support to these big men in form of role players, players that can shoot the 3-ball while Cousins is sucking the defence to the paint, something that happened quite often in Sacramento. Anthony Davis might not be much a passer but Cousins is and Pelicans need to capitalise on this. All this needs to be done as soon as humanly possible as both Jrue Holiday and DeMarcus Cousins turn free-agents pretty soon.
Let the Process begin!