NBA Report Cards: Celtics pass with flying colors; Warriors lack an identity

Handing out NBA regular season report cards as we flip the page to the start of the NBA Playoffs.
Utah Jazz v Golden State Warriors
Utah Jazz v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
19 of 30

New Orleans Pelicans

Regular season grade: B+

With not many expectations heading into the start of the season, it's hard not to look back at how the New Orleans Pelicans performed this year as a success. In fact, you can make the argument that if it wasn't for a Brandon Ingram injury late in the year the team had a good chance to finish as a top 5 team in the Western Conference standings. Nevertheless, the hope now is that the Pelicans will be able to make life difficult in a first-round playoff series against one of the favorites. Whether or not that will happen remains to be seen, but the Pelicans certainly have the talent to cause some trouble in round 1.

Whether they were willing to admit it or not, this was a big year for the Pelicans concerning their build. At the very least, even if they don't end up with much playoff success to show for it, New Orleans has proven that this core can at least take another step forward.

The big question for the Pelicans is whether they'll have enough patience to continue to see it through heading into the offseason. Nevertheless, Zion Williamson did take a step forward in his overall game.