In the latest polls from ESPN reveals that they believe that the Pelicans are rated as the 9th best team in the Western Conference. The rankings show the Pelicans behind teams like the L.A. Clippers, Denver Nuggets & Utah Jazz based on a scoring system called SCHOENE:
- Golden St Warriors- projected wins: 62.1
- Houston Rockets- projected wins: 55.0
- San Antonio Spurs- projected wins: 52.6
- Minnesota Timberwolves- projected wins: 50.1
- Oklahoma City Thunder- projected wins: 49.5
- Los Angeles Clippers- projected wins: 48.9
- Denver Nuggets- projected wins: 47.2
- Utah Jazz- projected wins: 44.7
- New Orleans Pelicans- projected wins: 44.2
I don’t inner-stand how anyone can rate the Clippers or even the Jazz better than this current version of New Orleans. The Pelicans are a lot better than their 2016-17 counterparts with the addition Rondo, Clark & others. I can’t discount the fact that DeMarcus Cousins is in the best shape of his life & will attend a full Pelicans camp along with Anthony Davis to establish camaraderie.
The Pelicans even added upgrades in the coaching staff with former Denver’s assistant Chris Finch who helped mold star big Nikola Jokic & had him playing in harmony with other big Jusuf Nurkic. Finch’s signing is probably one of the single most important signings of the Pells off-season because he holds the key to help Davis & Cousins co-exist productively. The Pells even added former assistant & head coach Sam Mitchell to the coaching staff who known as a good communicator of basketball principles.
The facts are the Pelicans did sign Rajon Rondo who will add a high basketball IQ to both offense & defense that A.D. & Boogie respect because of obvious championship success. The addition of former Golden St guard Ian Clark adds shooting to the bench as well as the signing of Darius Miller.
The only major hiccup to the whole thing is injury which can be said about any team. I considered myself a bit of expert when it comes down to the Pelicans being that this is my home town team & I watch this team more than anyone else. The Pells might not be good enough to dethrone the Golden St Warriors but they must certainly can beat a Gordon Hayward less Utah team or a Chris Paul less Clipper team.
I see that a lot of the so-called experts aren’t giving New Orleans a shot to even make the playoffs with all the talent they have accrued. The main reason I say New Orleans will succeed is because their backs are up against the wall in many ways that’s an article for another day. I see that the stars of the team are doing everything they can to start winning in The Big Easy when winning hasn’t been easy.