NBA Season Preview: New Orleans Pelicans
PG: Jrue Holiday
SG: Eric Gordon
SF: Dante Cunningham
PF: Anthony Davis
C: Omer Asik
Key Bench Pieces:
F: Ryan Anderson
G: Nate Robinson
F: Tyreke Evans (Hurt)
The New Orleans Pelicans made the playoffs last year as the 8 seed getting run over by the future NBA champs Golden State Warriors. Obviously, a big reason they even made the playoffs was Anthony Davis. Davis is a freak and already one of the best players in the NBA at 22 years old. In fact, NBA GMs were asked who they would pick if they were to start an NBA franchise today and 86.2% chose Davis. That is an overwhelming percent and shows just how dominant Davis is and will continue to be.
Unfortunately for the Pelicans, this does not look like a promising season. Tyreke Evans is out 6-8 weeks coming off of knee surgery and he is the most important piece for the Pelicans other than Davis. Another injury concern for the Pelicans is Jrue Holiday. Holiday broke his leg and will be on a 15-minute restriction possibly until January. That is a huge thing to overcome for the Pelicans as they may be largely without 2 of their best 3 playmakers until Christmas. Both of these guys are extremely vital to the team's success and it will be interesting to see how they handle it.
Some guys that will have to pick up the slack for the loss of Tyreke start with Ryan Anderson. Anderson will be coming off the bench to start the season but will more than likely be their 2nd leading scorer behind Davis at least until Tyreke is back. Anderson is a spread the floor type of power forward as he is above average at shooting the 3 pointer. Eric Gordon, Dante Cunningham and Nate Robinson will also be important pieces for the Pelicans this season as all are capable of good performances every night.
The X-Factor this year for the Pelicans will be Jrue Holiday. If Holiday can get off to a hot start and shake his minutes restriction this team is looking at the playoffs for the second straight year. If not, the Pelicans could be looking at a disappointing finish.
Anthony Davis will always be good enough to bring his team to playoff contention. It will be interesting to see when one of his teams can take the next step and be legit contenders for a championship instead of just sneaking in the playoffs. Sadly, i do not think the Brow will be featured in the playoffs this year as i see a tough 10th seed finish as Tyreke and Jrue injuries bring them down.
By: Jack Journeay