In order for Davis to become the next superstar, the Pelicans need to make the postseason. That is easier said that done in the hyper-competitive Western Conference.
New Orleans have a fun roster to watch. They can spread the court with shooters and score at the hoop with athletic finishers at the rim.
Here is the 2014-15 NBA season preview for the New Orleans Pelicans.
2013-14 Win/Loss Record: 34-48
Key Additions: C Omer Asik, C Patric Young, PG Jimmer Fredette, PF Kevin Jones, SF John Salmons, PG Russ Smith & SG D.J. Stephens
Key Losses: C Jason Smith, PG Brian Roberts, SG Anthony Morrow, SF Al-Farouq Aminu & C Greg Stiemsma
Projected Starters: Omer Asik, Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon & Jrue Holiday
Fantasy Sleeper: PF Ryan Anderson – Anderson missed most of last season and he could fly under the radar in your fantasy draft. I guarantee he will fall a round or two later than he should. If you’re drafting a high-field goal percentage team focused on front-court talent and need 3-pointers, Anderson would be perfect.
Team Analysis: New Orleans is a talented team and deserve to be in the playoffs…but I don’t see them making it this year.
The Western Conference have roughly eleven teams that legitimately have a shot at eight playoffs spots. Those teams would all make the playoffs in the East, but due to geography, they’ll be home in May.
Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday are legit All-Stars and pieces to build around. I don’t see Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans being the answer at those positions. Gordon can’t stay healthy for 70+ games and Austin Rivers should still be at Duke (he’s still not ready for the NBA).
The Pelicans could still make the playoffs, but they would need an elite team to implode. They are still at least a year away from doing any damage, but any playoff experience would be worth the early exit.
2014-15 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 43.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2014-15 Projected Win/Loss Record: 43-39 (9th in Western Conference)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.