„I gave the city, organization, fans everything I feel like I could” said Davis.
After playing 6.5 seasons for New Orleans Davis requested trade and won’t sign extension.
Anthony Davis : 6x All-Star, 3x All-NBA First Team, NBA All-Defensive first team , 3x best shot blocker in NBA+ lots of other achievements. It’s just natural that NBA superstar like AD wants to win NBA Title. Is this franchise able to add enough quality players in their roster who can help Davis achieve his career goals?
New Orleans Pelicans/Hornets best result in franchise history is Conference Semifinals (twice).
Through the years (AD era) there was simply bad luck (injuries Gordon, Holiday, Cousins, Evans), also few bad decisions and even when New Orleans had a great season their play-off run was stopped by Golden State Warriors twice…
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
- Great 2017/18 season – „No. 6 seed Pelicans make NBA playoff history with first-round sweep of Trail Blazers”. 4:0. New Orleans became the first No. 6 seed (or lower) to sweep its first-round series since the NBA switched from its best-of-five format in 2003.
- Promising start of 2018/19 season. Pelicans won their first 4 games of the season.
- Plays fast – 2017/18 fastest team (1st) in NBA, this season 6th (pace 103.1).
- Lack of depth. Heavily rely on their Starters – AD, Randle, Holiday, Mirotic and Moore/Payton. Second worst bench in NBA.
- New Orleans also leads league in points scored by C position players and 4th points scored by PF position players. They definitely lack of quality wing players.
- Leads league in POINTS IN THE PAINT (1st) – 59.9 points per game. 7 points per game (!) more than 2nd place LA Lakers.
- I could say Pelicans are „streaky’’ team. They have tendency to either win or lose lot of games in a row.
- If offense is pretty good and they rank 6th in NBA (Off Rtg 113.4) then defense is one of the worst in NBA (Def Rtg 112.2) – 24th of 30 teams in NBA despite having NBA All-Defensive First Team (2018) player in their roster.
2017/18 season their defense was average but 2018/19 it’s bad. Their roster didn’t change that much (Rondo to LAL, Cousins half a season and was injured + to GSW, Randle to NOP) and Randle definitely is above average defender („Luke Walton Calls Julius Randle Best One-on-One Defender in NBA”). Defense is not only played with legs and arms but also with heart. Probably problem is the last one mentioned. For example opponents score the most 3-pointers when playing against Pelicans.
Another reason is that Pelicans heavily rely on their Starting 5 players (31.6 min avg per game per starter) that it can badly affect their defense, especially in the end of the game.
- Don’t play good in the end of the game this season. 2nd best clutch team last season 30W-20L but the worst clutch team this season percentage-wise of games won (29%; 9W-22L).
- Atmosphere in team. Very similar to Rockets who had a chance to make it to Finals last year, Pelicans played great basketball last season and post-season but again = Warriors. Since AD, Harden and CP3 haven’t won NBA Title yet, it really disappoints All-Star player doing his best but it’s still not enough to be NBA champion. Emotionally it affects superstars with ambition to the best. Atmosphere in locker-room and team very often starts from team’s best player. If team’s best player is not happy with organisation it affects everyone. Probably Curry is the best of team leaders to play alongside in NBA.
- Low attendance (29th of 30) also isn’t something that New Orleans Pelicans should be proud of. Not basketball city?
IMPORTANCE OF ANTHONY DAVIS.
„Lakers offering eight players for Anthony Davis’’
There shouldn’t be hate towards Unibrow since he has been TOP 10 scorer in last 5 NBA seasons but Pelicans made play-offs only twice.
All TOP 10 point scorers in last 5 NBA seasons.
Winning percentage (%) (only games where they actually played in seasons when they were among TOP 10 best) of all NBA players who has finished season (2019 not finished yet) in TOP 10 points scored per game at least 4 of 5 last NBA seasons.
Only Cousins (Sacramento/New Orleans) team had worst record than Davis (New Orleans) in games where they participated. Cousins don’t play for Sacramento and New Orleans anymore but Golden State Warriors
OFFENSE. VERSATILITY OF AD.
He will be great for for every team in the League. Team player, can be effective in the both ends of the floor.
Despite his height (2.08m) very often he’s capable of doing what only guards capable to do. Similar to Giannis, Porzingis.
He can play both inside/out.
- Post up. Both low post/high post.
- Court vision & Passing. If double team = pass ball back to his teammates. I like his shot selection.
- Can play effective 1vs1 from perimiter.
- Can play great both fast-faced and slow-paced basketball. Able to start transition from defense to offense without passing to guards or other teammates.
- Offensive rebounding.
- Can be effective in pick-and-roll situations both as roller (most of the time) and ball-handler as well in pick-and-roll situations what’s not typical for that tall player. Pick-and-pop also option.
- Team player. Unselfish. Can play both PF and C positons if needed.
- Three-point shooting, spreading the floor? Definitely shoots 3-pointers better than Giannis but 31% career 3-point shooting is below NBA average (35.4% 2019 NBA).
His height and wingspan is his strength.
- It’s very difficult for guards to attack in pick-and-roll situations when Davis defends ball-screener.
- His impressive wingspan often is a cause of opponents taking shots and having bad passing angles.
- SHOT BLOCKING. 3x NBA blocks leader (2014,2015, 2018)
- Sometimes heavier offensive problems cause problems while AD is trying to boxing out them but again.. but again height and wingspan are his weapons.
I guess lot of NBA basketball fans watched New Orleans games mostly because of Davis and hopefully Pelicans will get great players back in return of AD. The fact that „Lakers offering eight players for Anthony Davis’’ shows how valuable is Pelicans best player.
Thank you for reading! Kristians@abouthegame.com