Fleur De Lis Data News Weekly Contributor
While the Saints have left the fans with not much to cheer about this season, the Pelicans are beginning the year atop the Western Conference. It is not that they are only beating subpar teams but are winning against the NBA elite.
Last week, they defeated the Phoenix Suns 128-117 to take control of the Western Conference in front of their home crowd.
In their two consecutive games, it felt like a divisional playoff game with intensity coming from both teams. Last year, the Suns eliminated the Pels in six games. In these two games, the Pels played like champions.
Now that he is healthy, Zion Williamson is living up to expectations, where in the second game he seemed unstoppable, scoring 35 points, grabbing seven rebounds, and dishing out four assists.
This year under second year coach Willie Green, things are coming together. They have a balanced team that is playing great on both sides of the court. Besides Zion Williamson, the Pels are getting top level play out of Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, and Jose Alvarado.
So far, they are 18-8, and looking like the real deal. Kevin, who is a diehard Saints fan says, “I am glad to see the Pelicans winning games, it is good for the city and for sports. It is giving us something to cheer about.”
Some are saying it is too early in the season to think they have a chance at making it to the NBA Finals this year.
“I believe if they stay healthy and continue to play at this level, they have a shot to go deep into the playoffs. But I am going wait to see how they look near the end of the season, that is the most important time for them to play well,” says Kenneth, of New Orleans.
As you walk around the city, we see more people rocking Pelican’s gear. It is a sign that support for them is growing, and that New Orleans can possibly become a city where basketball is popular among fans.
“I think it could be a great thing for the city that we have another professional sports team that we can support. It not only is good for the fans, but it has an economic impact as well,” says Deidre, a New Orleans Businessowner.
The one place where folks keep it real is in the barbershop, inside of Mr. Chill’s First-Class Cuts on this day the topic of sports came up. It was mentioned winning is not necessarily about what happens on the field. But how these games bring people together and give everyone a sense of a unified identity.
Undoubtedly, this is something that hits home for many in the shop, that’s what is important in these times. What we do in the stands becoming one is what we must practice in our everyday lives. Doing the same things to improve neighborhoods, schools, fighting crime and raising our young people to be respectable, responsible adults.
In this scenario, not only would the Pelicans or Saints win games and become champions but so would the citizens of the City of New Orleans.