Christmas is not far off from now so I decided to get into the festive spirit. How? To come up with my Christmas List…for the New Orleans Pelicans. Only going to ask for a few things this year. I'm not a greedy guy and don’t want to bother the NBA Santa too much. Three wishes for the upcoming year.
1. I Wish for... Health
At the top of my list is wishing for the Pelicans health. New Orleans had an injury riddled 2014 which set this team back a year. One way to highlight how awful the injuries were; Ryan Anderson has already played more games this season than he did for the entirety of last year. Guys like Jrue Holiday and Jason Smith also joined Anderson; suffering season ending injuries before the end of January.
The Pelicans really had no hope for the playoffs or anywhere near that last year. Even towards the end Anthony Davis missed the last 10+ games and same with Eric Gordon. Gordon has already been side-lined for over 10 games this season but the rest have stayed relatively healthy. Here’s to hoping for a healthy 2015 for the Pelicans.
2. I Wish for ... Defence
Coming in at second on my list is wishing for this team to start playing defence. The Pelicans are currently 26th in Defensive Rating as I write. This is unacceptable for a team even considering of making a push for the playoffs. Obviously losing the new and improved (defensively) Eric Gordon hurt this team; not just because of his defence but because of the replacement issues that followed. Since Gordon’s injury, Austin Rivers, Darius Miller (who’s not even on the roster anymore), and Luke Babbitt have all started.
Babbitt has retained the starting position for numerous games in a row now and whilst he obviously can space the floor and his shot has to be respected he is simply an awful defender and gets in foul trouble often enough which limits his minutes. I believe the Pelicans defence will get better like most things with patience. The schedule has been tough and are playing with a completely new scheme but 26th is still unacceptable and must improve.
3. I Wish for ... The Final Piece of the Core
My last wish is that the Pelicans make a move to acquire another piece to the core at the small forward position. Assembling the core should be one of the main priority. If this involves trading anyone outside of Jrue Holiday, Anthony Davis, or Omer Asik then so be it.
I’d be upset to see Ryan Anderson go but you’ve got to look at the bigger picture. Spending that much money on three guys who can’t play together (Davis, Asik and Anderson) is not smart as Jamile pointed out. If the missing piece is out there and available is another question but this is a wish list, I’m hoping he becomes available.
These are my three Christmas wishes for the Pelicans. I hope NBA Santa delivers! On that note Merry Christmas Pelican Fans! Comment below with your Christmas List!