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Bird Feed: Power Rankings and Win-Projections Are Here!

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Mere hours until the season begins.

Richard Dole-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation Power Rankings

Written this week by Drew Garrison who places the Pelicans 20th overall, 11th in the Western Conference. This is the lowest power ranking of the five I will follow for the season.

It's hard to remember Anthony Davis is only 21 and has just two years of NBA experience to his name, but his improvement from his rookie year to his sophomore campaign was impressive. If he can have another year of marked development, the Pelicans could be a dark horse to sneak into the playoffs. especially Davis and Omer Asik anchoring their defense.

The big problem in the Big Easy, however, is the health of Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans. If everything -- everything -- goes right for New Orleans, watch out.

NBA.com Power Rankings

Maintained by John Schuhmann (whom you should follow on Twitter for his consistently excellent statistical insights); New Orleans clocks in at 18th overall, 10th in the Western Conference.

The return of Ryan Anderson gives the Pelicans the floor spacing they were missing last season, Omer Asik is a big defensive upgrade, Jrue Holiday is healthy, and Anthony Davis is the next big thing. The ingredients for the West's biggest win increase are there, and the preseason provided hints as to such. But will it be enough to crack the top eight?

ESPN Power Rankings

According to Marc Stein NOLA ranks 17th overall, 10th in the Western Conference. He dares question if the expectations on Anthony Davis are too high.

MVP sleeper? Top-five player? I fear the Anthony Davis hype has hiked the bar higher than even The Brow can reach at what still ranks as a formative stage of his career. But maybe he'll prove me wrong and hit those heights this season. Can't hurt that the Pels are starting out healthy (for a change).

Yahoo! Power Rankings

Pelicans come in 13th overall, 8th in the Western Conference by Marc Spears rankings. Interesting that he states New Orleans are expected to make the postseason; I cannot find that to be the prevailing outlook when looking around the league.

There will be a lot of pressure on the Pelicans this season as Anthony Davis and Co. are expected to make the postseason.

CBS Sports Power Rankings

No updated rankings yet from Matt Moore. His last rankings were released on July 28th. The Pelicans were at that time 20th overall and 11th in the Western Conference.

John Schuhmann Stats Dive

Two things jump out - Slow pace for New Orleans (28th in the league) and poor defensive rebounding (22nd).

Projected Wins Based on Math

Three different projections in two links. PT-PM and ASPM here and RPM here. New Orleans is projected to win between 37 and 40 games according to the models. Real Plus-Minus (ESPN's creation) also put the Pelicans in the 37-38 range while Kevin Pelton's SCHOENE estimated about 45.

Anthony Davis Third #NBArank

His position is no doubt inflated thanks to the foot injury to Kevin Durant.