What’s going on in New Orleans?
It’s been a couple of weeks since the trade that shook the NBA was announced and DeMarcus Cousins was traded to the New Orleans Pelicans. At the time, people immediately said that the combined talents of Cousins and Anthony Davis were almost assuredly going to launch the Pelicans to a playoff berth. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case.
Since Cousins arrived in New Orleans, the Pelicans are 1-4. This isn’t a great record at all, and when you realize that the sole win came in the game that Cousins didn’t play after receiving an automatic 1-game suspension for receiving his 18th technical of the year, it doesn’t look like Cousins has necessarily had an immediate impact in the Big Easy.
When the trade was announced, I knew that everyone’s exclamations that the Pelicans were instantly playoff-bound were too good to be true. That’s because I know, as well as many others do, that the dominant big man duo does not a team make. There’s a reason why basketball is a TEAM sport. It requires all players at all five positions to be on the same page. Obviously, that hasn’t happened yet in New Orleans.
Now, this doesn’t mean by any stretch of the imagination that it’s time to panic or abandon ship because the so-called “Boogie experiment” has failed. It hasn’t failed. The Pelicans can still be a phenomenal team, as the addition of DeMarcus Cousins would have done for any team in the NBA. It’s crucial to understand that this, just like any big addition for a team, will take some time. Making a seamless transition into the team is never something that happens immediately, so demanding something like that of DeMarcus Cousins and the New Orleans Pelicans is unfair.