Groovy baby! The New Orleans Pelicans have found their mojo! With only 19 games left in the season, it’s late, but with victories over the Los Angles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets they’re just one win shy of breaking their best “W” streak of the season.
How does the future get brighter for a team that ‘s 26-37 and went through two grueling losing streaks already? Here’s how, name Tyreke Evans the official starting three guard and let the roster recover 100% from injuries. Oh and changing the defensive scheme wouldn’t hurt either.
In the last three games the Pelicans have given up an average of 112 points. That’s 10 more points a game than their season average. However, the team is scoring at a much higher rate. Season average for points per game is 99.6, but 118.3 has been the teams scoring average in the last three games.
Davis leads the league in blocks, but the Pelicans don’t play team defense. When the Pelicans played the Denver Nuggets on Friday, there were times when the team forgot a defensive assignment or just plain let Ty Lawson maneuver his way in for an easy layup. These little mistakes are big reasons why the Pelicans are last in the Southwest Division.
During this three game winning streak, Tyreke Evans has shown us that he wouldn’t mind being in a starting role. In his last six games he has scored in double figures and has made close to 87% of his free throws. Evans is distributing the basketball very well in the last five games, and finished with at least one steal. Even with all the injuries that have occurred on the team, Evans should’ve started when he first put on a Pelican uniform.
With Evans being productive as of late and Davis’s strong sophomore season, better days are soon around the bend for New Orleans fans.
This season won’t go down as the most successful one the Pelicans have had, but that doesn’t mean the team is in the dumps. Last game Davis finished with his third straight double double and swatted six Denver shots.
Davis is still learning the NBA game and a healthier roster to start out next season gives the Pelicans a longer grazing period.
Short winning streaks don’t mix well with long losing streaks. New Orleans can win games, but never can collect a bounce back with a win after a loss. A few short game winning streaks here, then a couple long game losing streaks there and the rest is history.
If the Pelicans could’ve avoided two separate eight game losing streaks, they would be talked about more then SportsCenter talks about LeBron James. Since the start of the New Year, the Pelicans have one of the worst records in the NBA at 12-22.
Even on a struggling team Davis is making a case for the best power forward in the league. Since getting the starting call Evans has been playing like he did in his phenomenal rookie season and New Orleans is one scoring big man away from being relevant!
Those three reasons are why the Pelicans have a future that we can’t shy away from. This season was supposed to be the best one that head coach Monty Williams had since the 2010-2011 season, but next season will be Williams last chance to save his job.
Williams and the Pelicans are in a tough situation. Do they continue to try keeping the winning streak alive or do they throw in the towel early to claim that top five draft pick?
Whatever may happen, watch out for this young team down the road, because they can string together wins. New Orleans demands a little respect, like Doctor Evil said. And with young talent, respect is on its way.