- After coming off the bench in our last game against the Washington Wizards (but starting in 2nd half), Tyreke Evans will return to the starting lineup at SF.
No surprise - Pelicans' Tyreke Evans says he's starting tonight at small forward. But says he's still not completely over illness.— John Reid (@JohnReid64) January 7, 2015
It will be the same lineup that the Pelicans started the season, but more importantly, one that enjoyed a lot of success. According to NBA Stats, the combination of Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Evans, Anthony Davis and Omer Asik had a healthy 108.5 Offensive Rating and a 97.7 Defensive Rating. Their +10.8 Net Rating absolutely blows the doors off our most recent starting lineup (-.1 Net Rating), when Luke Babbitt replaced Gordon.
Thanks to PelicansNBA, hear what Evans has to say on this matter and specifically what caused his recent illness. (Hint: it involved Eric Bledsoe's tooth.)
- It was announced this afternoon that the Cleveland Cavaliers had traded for Timofey Mozgov.
Update to Cavs story w/ @WindhorstESPN: Cavs will send TWO future firsts to Denver for Mozgov— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 7, 2015
That seems like a rather steep price to pay for adequate rim protection, no?
Rim protection rankings per @SethPartnow's metric: Koufos 6th Mozgov 34th T. Thompson 51st Varejao 56th Kevin Love 119th— Tom Haberstroh (@tomhaberstroh) January 7, 2015
Much of twitterverse has been accepting of this deal, despite the fact the Cavaliers have now recently given up a ton of future draft picks and will now have to pay a tax around 7.3 million.
Cleveland have now traded nine draft picks in six months.— Mark Deeks (@MarkDeeksNBA) January 7, 2015
Give @cavsdan this much: He's never afraid to spend. Cavs' three new guys acquired this week have taken their tax bill to $7.3 million— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 7, 2015
For what it's worth, Omer Asik ranks 15th on the aforementioned list at Nylon Calculus. This past off-season, he only cost New Orleans one future draft pick. Yet, the Pelicans were hammered for making that transaction. Remember when Kevin Pelton gave the deal a D+?
Asik saves three TIMES as many points per 36 minutes than Mozgov defending the rim. He rebounds 33% more available misses.— David Fisher (@usnfish) January 7, 2015
Both the Cleveland Cavaliers and the New Orleans Pelicans have true superstars; however, up to this point, the media has only applauded one of the teams. That's just plain wrong -- the majority changed their valuations of future draft picks when analyzing both deals.
Under the direction of Tom Benson, the Pelicans decided to go down the path of win now long ago. Yet along each step of the way, they have been ridiculed for their current roster construction. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers have been lauded for bringing over Kevin Love and now, Mozgov.
The only difference I see is that Davis is on his first contract while James is making the maximum. Is there some unwritten rule that teams with a franchise player on a rookie contract are not allowed to push any chips towards the center of the table?
Here's an interesting thought to ponder. The Pelicans are 99.9% sure they'll be able to retain Davis' services through the year 2020-21. How certain are we that James will remain in Cleveland? What about Mr. Love? I think it's safe to say their odds are not as nearly good as ours.
- Today, Sports Illustrated released their All Clutch Team for 2014-15. Interestingly, in a good way, their evaluation of Anthony Davis was identical to our piece here at The Bird Writes. Essentially, a near perfect Davis doesn't get enough attempts in the final minutes of close games.