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The Bird Calls Podcast Ep. 73: What ails the New Orleans Pelicans and the best way to fix them!

Daniel Sallerson, one of the team’s prominent radio voices, and David Mackay, of Blazer’s Edge, give great insight about New Orleans and their next opponent.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Sallerson and David Mackay joined Preston Ellis on the latest podcast to discuss the questionable efforts displayed by the Pelicans lately and then preview the next matchup against the Trail Blazers.

Daniel, the host of the New Orleans pre and postgame radio shows as well as the Black and Blue Report and The Alvin Gentry Show, gives his perspective on the confounding energy problems surrounding the team. Although the defense hasn’t been good most nights, it’s concerning that we’ve witnessed at least five or six games where a lack of effort was noticeable from the Pelicans and likely contributed to a loss.

DeMarcus Cousins skill set is incredible but the question remains: Does the talent outweigh the baggage?

Daniel agrees with the sentiment that a shake up is probably needed because the team continues to fail to turn the corner, but he he doesn’t believe the solution involves firing anyone. You don’t see Steve Kerr or Gregg Popovich motivating their squads before every game. No, bringing the requisite intensity is on the players — this is what they get paid to do, so maybe a lineup change or a smaller trade might be the answer.

As far as a deal for a big name like Evan Fournier, it is conceivable, but Daniel raises a good point: Is it worth sacrificing another future asset to move up in the standings to only face a different tough team in the playoffs? Regardless of whether New Orleans can dodge the Warriors or Rockets, the Spurs and Timberwolves would not be that much easier matchups.

The Pelicans host the Trail Blazers on Friday evening in the Smoothie King Center and Preston welcomed David, a second-time guest, to get the inside scoop on a team just ahead of us in the standings.

Among other things, David mentions how the Blazers learned to win without Damian Lillard through ball movement and credits Portland’s defensive improvement to Jusuf Nurkic — something we saw in a small sample size at the end of last season.

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