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Bird Feed: A Pelican with an Injured Wing Can't Fly

When three of the best four players are injured teams plunge in the power rankings.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation

Down one spot to 16.

Anthony Davis' health has been a recurring theme in the power rankings, which makes a lot of sense considering he's deep in the MVP discussion while the Pelicans are 13 points per 100 possessions better with him on the floor than off. One of the Thunder, Suns and Pelicans will come out of the regular season with a playoff berth, but right now New Orleans is losing traction without Davis and no "Russell Westbrook" to take over while he recovers.

NBA.com

Down one spot to 16.

Saturday's win in Miami ended the Pelicans' four-game losing streak, but also may have killed any playoff hopes they had left, with both Anthony Davis (out 1-2 weeks with a shoulder sprain) and Ryan Anderson (out 2-4 weeks with an MCL sprain) going down in the first half. Those injuries came after Jrue Holiday suffered a setback earlier in the week.

ESPN

Down one spot to 17.

The Pels have quietly spruced up their depth with the additions of Dante Cunningham, Quincy Pondexter and Norris Cole, as well as Eric Gordon's return, but Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday are all ailing anew. Which is to say that the playoffs, just like that, are slipping away.

Sports Illustrated

Down one spot to 15.

Anthony Davis’ unibrow is no longer his most scrutinized body part. The Pelicans star re-injured his right shoulder in Saturday’s win over the Heat and left for good in the first quarter. New Orleans, which is 2-5 when Davis sits out this season, can’t afford for its All-Star center to miss time as it fights to stay in the West’s merciless playoff race.

CBS Sports

Down five spots to 16.

The basketball gods decided to wait until after the All-Star Break to ruin their season (Anthony Davis out at least two weeks, Ryan Anderson out 2-4 weeks). I don't know whether that's merciful or more cruel. Their making the playoffs seems like it would be a miracle at this point.

Yahoo! Sports

Steady at 16.

It will be hard for the Pelicans to stay on pace in the playoff race without Anthony Davis, who is out 1-2 weeks with a shoulder sprain.

News of Note

The Pelicans still have a roster spot open. With both Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson out it might be prudent to bring in another big man. If the second half was any indication on Saturday, Monty will move Dante Cunningham to power forward (his more natural position) and start Quincy Pondexter on the wing. The bench, down to Norris Cole, Jimmer Fredette, Luke Babbitt, Jeff Withey, Alexis Ajinca, and Justin Hamilton, is perilously thin.