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New Orleans Pelicans defense and lack of contributions by several reserves highlight early season disappointments

Paging Cheick Diallo, Ian Clark and Darren Erman!

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Who or what has been the most disappointing aspect through the first 28 games?

Kevin: Cheick Diallo

It’s not so much a disappointment because I know he’s incredibly raw, but I was hoping Cheick Diallo would have been ready to be a more consistent contributor. It’s no knock on him, he’s barely played basketball and is basically an athletic freak blank canvas for this staff to mold. I just really wanted him to be impactful to lessen the strain on our starting bigs because Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca never fit the mold — even when healthy.

Jamile: Ian Clark

Clark has definitely been the most disappointing. Coming into the season, I really felt he had the potential to be one of the breakout role players of the season. Clark seemed like a great fit and I really thought having a player coming from the Golden State Warriors who could pass and shoot would benefit the Pels.

Although he reentered the rotation three games ago, Clark’s only positive impact came against the Kings, the contest he started and played 28 minutes. Maybe it's the improved play from our beloved E'Twaun Moore, the resurgence of Jrue Holiday and just not receiving enough minutes to get comfortable on the floor. Regardless, he hasn't found a way to be a consistent contributor in the rotation — which is a total bummer.

Preston: Cheick Diallo

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Denver Nuggets Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

This past offseason, the former Jayhawk added ten pounds and became arguably the best player in summer league basketball under our friend Jamelle McMillan and Kevin Hanson. Diallo shined on a nightly basis and went toe to toe with top ten picks showing no fear. He did everything asked of him.

Six weeks into the regular season, Diallo has received more DNPs than any other player and is now losing out on opportunities to Omer Asik, who many fans thought would never see another minute as a member of the Pelicans. Diallo’s defensive awareness and basketball IQ isn't close to where it needs to be, and we are probably another year away from seeing the young man from Mali contribute, yet I can’t help but wonder if a few minutes here, a few minutes there, suddenly some things click for him. Woiljla

Oleh: Team Defense

Everyone knows the story: the Pelicans defense, directed by Darren Erman, improved from 28th in Alvin Gentry’s first year at the helm to 9th last season. Through the first 28 games of the 2017-18 campaign, New Orleans sits a rather dismal 25th and they’ve been trending the wrong way for weeks now.

Over the last eight games, going back to the loss to the Timberwolves on November 29, the Pelicans are allowing a league-worst 119.9 points to the opposition. New Orleans opponents are shooting for great percentages (49.2 FG%, 39.6 3PT%), getting enviable shot attempts (32.5 3PA) and have noticeably more points off turnovers, second chance points, fastbreak points and points in the paint.

Everywhere you look, the Pelicans defense is currently a horror show, and they’re the main culprit for the team failing to capitalize on some recent outstanding offensive performances.

Travis: Trade articles

Can these guys give up the ghost, already? For instance, The Ringer plays a role as sports culture’s contrarians, but cmon, AD and Cousins work and they are superstars giving this team a good chance to be a middle of the pack playoff contender. Find new players and teams to deconstruct, eh Bleacher Report?!