This season began almost two months ago in New Orleans with a mixture of hope and optimism, but also a certain suspicion. The Pelicans had completed a hopeful end to the 2021-22 season that led them to put the Phoenix Suns in serious trouble in the first round of the playoffs. However, there were some doubts about the ability of Willie Green to continue this brilliant rise, which also had to add to the formula a rebellious but renewed Zion Williamson.
These doubts have been dispelled by almost the first third of the season. After convincingly beating the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets and Detroit Pistons, the Pelicans have ten wins in the last twelve games, which allows them to be in the first position in the Western Conference. Their current record of 16-8 is only surpassed by the Boston Celtics (21-8) and Milwaukee Bucks (18-6), possibly the teams that have played the best game so far and that are emerging as great candidates for the ring.
Even those who put on their most euphoric and enthusiastic vision could not have envisioned these Pelicans atop the West after such a wide array of games. Now, the debate does not point to the potential –already demonstrated– of the team, but rather to its ability to stay on that stage and ratify itself as a true alternative to the title.