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Birdfeed: AD + Ryno set to play + Joel Meyers gives his 2 cents on matters

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

In the Pelicans first game following the All-Star break, it is expected that Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson will play against the Magic in Orlando tomorrow.

Today's Black & Blue report is a must listen. Joel Meyers was one of Sean Kelly's guests on the show and he divulged his insight on several key NBA issues.

  1. Joel Meyers is hearing that the NBA regular season will begin in mid October, in an effort to reduce the amount of back-to-backs from schedules. (For instance, the Pelicans will play in 18 back-to-backs this season.) Considering how some injuries are thought to be propagated by overuse, such as Jrue Holiday's tibia issues, this could help curb the number of future missed games; thus, the NBA would be able to display a better overall product.
  2. Adam Silver is a user-friendly commissioner. "He gets it. There needs to be detente between him and Michelle Roberts (head of player's association) as players will likely opt out of the CBA in 2016-17 season."
  3. There is talk of keeping the six division winners and then adding the next best 10 team in order to maintain division rivalries but eliminate sub .500 or less worthy teams from making the post-season. Also, the Pelicans could have a chance to move to the East if divisions are realigned in an effort to create new rivalries. (Say ORL, MIA and ATL get put together with NOP.)
  4. The Phoenix Suns are in turmoil and it's not just over the Goran Dragic situation. Meyers has been hearing that other guards' feelings are now frayed; consequently, he doesn't believe the Suns will remain a legitimate contender for the 8th seed.
  5. With Holiday sidelined for at least another 3 weeks, the Pelicans can make the playoffs, but it's going to take a pass-first Tyreke Evans leading the way. When Evans gets 8-10 assists, the Pelicans are tough.
  6. Meyers believes that the Thunder will end up as one of the 8 playoff teams from the West (17 of 29 remaining games at home + roster is healthy), but along with the Suns dropping from the race, there remains a good chance an additional team above New Orleans in the standings will fall. For instance, the Clippers will be without Blake Griffin for the foreseeable future and that could really hurt them.
  7. Out of the next 6 Pelicans games, Meyers thinks the team needs to win at least 4 but probably 5 of them to remain serious playoff contenders. This jives with what we believed last week in our more recent NBA Standings piece.