The Pelicans' Twin Towers Project: Potential Going Forward
Evan Dyal takes an in-depth look at the New Orlean Pelicans in this five part series
There are a lot of good things happening in New Orleans. Other teams are getting injured. Cousins and Davis have made it work. Nelson and Miller have provided much-needed shooting. Allen and Rondo bring some defensive toughness. They have the makings of a playoff team. It won't be easy the schedule is tough. They play ten likely playoff teams in December before it lightens up towards the end of the month.
Health will be imperative they are still thin and can't afford an injury especially to one of the big guys. It is encouraging they are above .500 considering the injuries and the lineup tinkering. Another encouraging sign is Holiday is playing better after a rough start even though he is only shooting 25% from deep. That will go up. If the Pelicans can be a top ten offense and in the 10 to 15 range on defense they can be high as the fifth seed in the west.
They will be behind Golden State, Houston, San Antonio and OKC once they get their act together. Can they pass Denver, Minnesota, and Portland? Probably not Portland, but Denver is without Millsap and Minnesota has been inconsistent. If they get at least the sixth seed, they can bother the Spurs or the Thunder in a playoff series. Stars matter even more in the playoffs. I guarantee no one wants to see these two.
Who knows what will happen this summer, but if the Pelicans make the playoffs and are competitive thank they have a much better chance of re-signing Cousins and keeping Davis long term. It is up to them to build around them. So far they are doing what they can with limited resources. I expect them to be quiet at the trade deadline, unless it’s small. This is the group they are riding with, and they are hell-bent on making this work. I am a believer, and you should buy stock now. The twin towers have made it work and are going to the playoffs and will be a factor once they get there.
*Stats accurate as of 11/28/17