Down one spot to 14th
Anthony Davis has blocked at least five shots in four of his last six games (this volleyball spike on Manu Ginobili was a personal favorite). But, at some point, the Pelicans need to string together some wins to remain in the playoff picture. They haven't won more than two straight games all season and only the Knicks have been worse defensively in December.
Holding steady at 13th.
According to ESPN's Basketball Power Index, New Orleans enters the final few days of 2014 with a mere 21.6 percent chance to make the playoffs despite that .500 record. No. 8 Phoenix (27.9 percent) visits the No. 9 Pels on Tuesday night, then heads to No. 10 OKC (67.1 percent) on Wednesday night.
Down four spots to 15th.
A team with Anthony Davis and Omer Asik shouldn’t rank near the bottom of the league in defense nor should it be giving up the third-most points in the paint (46.7) to opponents.
Down one spot to 14th.
New Orleans has to improve on the road if it wants to make it to the postseason. The Pelicans are 6-11 away from home.
Up four spots to 11th.
Their last six games: W-L-W-L-W-L. But they beat the Rockets, Thunder, and Spurs in that stretch. Their bench is so atrocious, though, and it still feels like just a matter of time before they run out of time on holding off Oklahoma City, and Phoenix has already blazed past them. There's just not enough room in the West for them. Is that on Monty Williams? The guards? The bench? It's an impossible riddle.
Stats of Note
Ryan Anderson is shooting 32.6% (59/181) on open threes this season. Last year he shot 41.6% (64/154). Somehow the Pels are still .500.— David Fisher (@usnfish) December 29, 2014