Down two spots to 14.
The Pelicans need every win they can scrounge, so Eric Gordon's 28-point performance against the Clippers was huge while New Orleans was missing Anthony Davis. They desperately need Davis to return with a big week in line. Monday against the Hawks is a great litmus test and back-to-back games against the Thunder have major playoff implications.
Up two spots to 12.
There was an Anthony Davis injury scare last week, but with Friday's win over the Clippers, the Pelicans have won seven of their last eight games against the top 10 in the West, scoring 110 points per 100 possessions in the eight games. They're already 2-0 against the Thunder, so they can clinch a tiebreaker with a split of this week's huge home-and-home set.
Up one spot to 13.
The Pelicans are a flat-out enigma. They're a heady 18-12 against the rest of the West ... but a costly 7-10 against the East. They're also a promising eighth leaguewide in offensive efficiency ... but tied for 22nd with Denver in defensive efficiency despite employing The Brow and Omer Asik.
Down one spot to 14.
It’s been a long time since Eric Gordon was mentioned for reasons other than being injured or underachieving, but the guard has topped 20 points in three of his last seven games, and put up a season-high 28 in Anthony Davis’ absence in an upset of the Clippers.
Unmoved at 14.
All-Star forward Anthony Davis is expected to be back against Atlanta on Monday after being out with a left groin strain
Unmoved at 14.
Did you know the Pelicans have the best division record of any team in the Southwest Division? Or they're 8-9 vs. Western Conference playoff teams? Or they've won 6 of 8 eight? Every time we bury them and put the tombstone in place, Anthony Davis and Tyreke Evans demolished the grave and leap out. They're not out of the playoff race by any measure.
Stats of Note
Two different Pelican five man lineups are among the 12 best in the NBA. The opening night starting lineup is 12th. The current one, with Tyreke Evans at point guard and Dante Cunningham at small forward, is 5th.