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Team RankingPTS/GOPP PTS/G
Southwest Division102.1 (2nd)105.1 (4th)
Western Conference7th10th
Power Rankings
New Orleans climbed within striking distance of the playoffs, then a stiff schedule stretch dropped them cold. Now Tyreke Evans is out until after the All-Star break. You wonder if a tank job is around the corner.
The Pelicans are going to show up in the playoffs like that friend from high school that you assumed had winded up in jail in a third-world country for something really stupid. "Oh, hey, you're here! And alive!"
They've won five of six, and are sixth in defense in January. That would be a really good sign if they hadn't buried themselves alive in a coffin welded shut in the first two months.
Back-to-back wins and the Pelicans' schedule is surprisingly soft the next two weeks. It's now or never for New Orleans. So, it will probably fall apart or get injured because this team's version of getting out of its own way is to jump in front of a train.
Alvin Gentry said on a podcast right after New Year's that the past was in the past and they were starting fresh in 2016, and that he still believed the roster had the pieces to make a run for a playoff spot. They beat the Mavericks, which was like when you go to the gym on January 1. Then they lost three straight which was like eating those three tubs of ice cream the next five days.
Since December 15, the Pelicans are an above-average offense (14th) and a middle-of-the-road defense (16th). It's progress, and they haven't been getting blown out as much. It seems like pretty mediocre progress, but with as bad as they've been, they've got to start somewhere.
OK, forget the 10-win hole under .500 for a second. They've won three of four with the one loss coming in overtime to the Heat in a really tough game. They're not good, but there's the makings of a not-bad team hidden deep within those woods.
The Pelicans are the model of "a good idea gone bad." They acquired good players and a good coach and none of it has worked together.
They're popping up in a lot of trade rumors, a sure sign that they recognize how deep the hole is. Their win over the Cavaliers was their best of the season ... they followed that up with a 1-2 week where they lost to Chicago and Boston, and beat the Wizards by two, at home. I did not expect the defense (30th per 100 possessions) to be this bad under Alvin Gentry.
It's alive! It's really alive! It's still not playing great defense and still has injury problems hanging by a thread, but it's alive!
2015-16 Team Leaders
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