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Nikola Mirotic says Pelicans need to show more urgency, close games better

Nikola Mirotic, Pelicans

Nikola Mirotic has recently returned to the New Orleans Pelicans line-up after missing a significant amount of time due to injury. However, the team continues to struggle and it is starting to look like they will not be making the playoffs.

Prior to their match-up with the Portland Trail Blazers later tonight, Nikola Mirotic addressed the team’s situation and revealed what they have to do to win and close out games moving forward.

“At the start of games, we need to have more energy, more urgency, more effort. And closing better,” Mirotic told Pelicans beat writer Jim Eichenhofer.

“That’s one issue we’ve had this year, and we’re trying to fix that. When we play defensively with energy, our offense is also better.”

In their match-up against the Golden State Warriors a couple of days ago, the Pelicans had an eight-point lead in the first quarter but weren’t able to capitalize. They also struggled on both ends of the floor in the final minutes of that game, resulting to a 147-140 defeat.

Mirotic had 29 points, five rebounds, and three assists in that game.

The Pelicans are currently 12th in the Western Conference standings with a 21-24 record, and they still have a fighting chance of making the playoffs, as they are only four games behind the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Lakers.

If the Pelicans will be able to find a way to start and finish games strong, they might be able to rack up enough wins to be able to reach the postseason.