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Discussing expectations and the New Orleans Pelicans as they reach the halfway mark

Expectations were high for the Pelicans this season. How far short have they fallen through 39 games?

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

What were your expectations for this season up to this point? What has disappointed you the most?

Kevin Barrios: I can't remember the exact number I put on the season, but I certainly expected us to win between 45-52 games this season. We are obviously far from that. Injuries played a huge part in our slow start, but I still expected us to play better and harder. It's the lack of fire — mainly from Anthony Davis (but, early in the season it was Jrue Holiday as well — thankfully, he's been playing great since he moved to the second unit) that troubles me the most. Winning against Charlotte felt great, and we finally saw a pick and roll that actually had Davis diving to the basket, but it was troubling watching Davis seemingly be a kind of non-factor when he's being guarded by the following players: Marvin Williams, Cody Zeller, Spencer Hawes and Frank Kaminsky. He should have been drooling and dominating — calling for the ball. His 22 points on 8 of 14 is solid, but he only nabbed 5 rebounds and had a +/- of negative 6 in 35 minutes. He should have taken 20 shots, and destroyed such weak one-on-one match ups.

Isaac Constans: Right now, I expected the Pelicans to be floating around .500. With the early-season injuries, I didn't expect the Pelicans to race out of the gates. And with a new system, troubles should be anticipated. But C'MON!! It's been a disappointing year all around, and it seems as if the team and its players have regressed in any noticeable category. I'm not giving up yet, but the shiny new system and its fluidity in the summer league has not translated. Not even a little bit.

Chris Cucchiara: My expectations were for the Pelicans to build on last season by becoming more fast paced on offense, improving the defense with Darren Erman on board and be able to be any team any night. The most disappointing things about the season thus far have been the lack of effort during a number of games and how BRUTAL the offense has been to watch at points this season.

Jay Dunn: I expected the team to be a few games above .500 and then make a real push once the schedule softened up. I'm most disappointed by the complete lack of consistency. This team can never seem to put together 3 or 4 solid efforts in a row. In addition I thought the defense would be ranked between 13-15. They've shown some improvement in that area of late but at times they still look like it's their first time playing NBA defense (a case could be made that it is).

David Fisher: In August I wrote that a record around .500 on New Year's Eve would be an accomplishment for this team. Instead they were 11 games under .500. Injuries, a new coaching staff, and a very difficult schedule all play their part in arriving to a record that bad. The Pelicans currently sit 13 games under .500 having lost three of four games with rest advantage since New Year's Eve. At best they are wildly inconsistent; at worst this team is just bad.

Jonny Harvey: No one from this blog expected this team to win the Finals, and team is still in the race for the last seed in the Western Conference, so I guess the Pelicans are exactly where we want them to be? Though for some reason, I didn’t expect the Pelicans to struggle so much defensively. Pets have the fourth worst defensive rating in the league at 106.2, only better than the Bucks, Suns and Lakers. Ouch.

Quentin Haynes: I thought they would win 50 games and the defense would be fine. That’s probably where I’m most disappointed. This has been one of the best worst defensive teams in the league and that has cost them a handful of games. The inability to get stops and allowing teams to go on long runs, in the fourth quarter no less, has been the toughest thing to watch.

Oleh Kosel: Where does one begin, and more importantly, is it even fair to pick just one disappointment? Some expectations: another step forward for Anthony Davis, an offense more efficient than one directed by Monty Williams, a marked improvement on defense, and above all, the Pelicans amid the thick of playoff contention.

The biggest disappointment has to be the failures of Alvin Gentry, specifically to resonate with most of the roster and employ stronger lineups. A core that seemingly had never been questioned much for a lack of effort in years past, has had too many nights where their competitive spirit was left behind in the locker room. Gentry has done little to mitigate the fires by failing to extinguish a few of his poor lineups earlier in the season, and overall, not giving his best players more minutes together.

Owen Sanborn: Ideally, I (and I assume all of us) wanted to see the Pelicans take the next step this season. The west was presumably going to be a bloodbath (ha, wrong), but coming away with a 6th or even 5th seed wasn't out of the realm of possibilities for this team. Especially with Portland hitting reset, the Mavs in limbo and the Rockets expecting a team lead by James Harden and Dwight Howard to remain stable. Maybe 13-26 should have been more foreseeable with all of the injuries and a new coach trying to implement his system. Selfishly, I wanted to see AD rise above all of the turmoil and keep this team afloat en route to a possible MVP campaign.