N.O. Pelicans ready for new season

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Basketball season is finally upon us and the New Orleans Pelicans have the tools to make a solid run in the NBA playoffs this year. Although they were swept in four games against the eventual NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, the Pelicans have been on a steady upswing since they drafted star power forward Anthony Davis with the first pick in the 2012 draft.

Davis has been a mark of consistency since he entered the league.

Over three full seasons he’s averaged 33.5 minutes per game, 19.7 points per game, 1.6 assists per game 1.3 steals per game and 9.5 rebounds per game.

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Over the last two seasons he has averaged a double-double in points and rebounds.

If he can keep up those numbers and stay healthy, Davis has a shot at contending for league MVP honors.

Unfortunately, veteran guard Tyreke Evans is out for six-to-eight weeks with a knee injury. The Pelicans will sorely miss Evans’ ability to distribute the basketball (6 APG) and his scoring ability (16.6 PPG)

Guards Eric Gordon and Jrue Holiday will have to pick up the slack in Evans’ absence and they have the ability to do that. Holliday (14.8 PPG, 6.9 APG) and Gordon (13.4 PPG, 3.8 APG) are potent scorers and move the ball well.

Both guards will have to make sure to get the ball to Davis early and often in games.

Center Omer Asik does a good job on the boards averaging 9.8 RPG and should be a solid presence defensively around the basket to compliment Davis.

NBA journeyman Dante Cunningham rounds out the starting lineup and honestly, doesn’t provide much more than a warm body on the floor.

Look for Ryan Anderson, Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to produce some energy off the bench.

With a healthy Tyreke Evans, the Pelicans should make the playoffs with a six, seven or eight seed. Although they have a solid starting lineup, the Pelicans will not make it past the second round in a stacked Western Conference.