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Pelicans Steady in NBA Power Rankings, Week 20

2-1 week was almost perfect. Sadly, almost was not quite good enough to hold on to the 8th seed in the wild Western Conference.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation

Steady at 14.

The Pelicans might have dug themselves too big a hole to scrape into the playoffs this season, but they still have time to squeeze in. When you have Anthony Davis ...

... it's hard to be counted out.

Steady at 13.

Anthony Davis has put up ridiculous lines since returning from his shoulder injury, but the Pelicans suffered a brutal, double-OT loss on Sunday, because they still can't protect the rim. The Nuggets got a lot more layups and dunks (26) than Davis had blocks (9), especially late, when one additional stop could have won kept the Pels in eighth place.


Down two spots to 13.

The NBA's last three MVPs led the league in PER. Five of the last six MVPs, in fact, led the league in PER. Yet here's Anthony Davis, only just 22, leading the league with one of the gaudiest PER readings in history (31.67) ... and still struggling to crack the top four in this MVP race.

Sports Illustrated

Up two spots to 11.

Norris Cole barely registered a blip on the trade deadline radar, but he’s been a steal for the Pelicans. New Orleans is 9-3 since dealing for Cole, who is averaging 10.1 points and 3.7 assists in 27.3 minutes per game.

Yahoo! Sports

Down two spots to 12.

Anthony Davis is playing at an MVP level, but the Pelicans can’t afford home losses like Sunday’s against Denver if they want a playoff berth.

CBS Sports

Steady at 14.

Beat the Grizzlies and Bucks, lose to the Celtics and Nuggets. They're like a toddler who face-plants when starting to walk too fast.

News of Note

The Oklahoma City Thunder moved into the 8th spot yesterday thanks to the Pelicans loss with 16 games to play for both teams. Next up, a trip to Dallas to play the Mavericks tonight. New Orleans has the night off before hosting the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday.

While Kevin Durant is expected to return soon this is not ideal news for the Thunder going forward. The Pelicans, of course, know all about injuries. Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson remain out.