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Pelicans claw toward top 10 in NBA Power Rankings, Week 23

2-1 week and some help puts the Pelicans back in the driver's seat of their playoff hopes. The road ahead is rocky.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation

Last Week: 14 - This Week: 14

The Pelicans' schedule isn't going to make it easy for them to leapfrog the Thunder. Games against the Warriors, Grizzlies, Suns and Rockets all in the same week? That's a brutal gauntlet for any team to run through, especially with a playoff spot hanging overhead. Will Anthony Davis reach up and grab it?

NBA.com

Last Week: 12 - This Week: 10

Ryan Anderson is back and he gave the Pelicans an expected lift on offense last week. If the Warriors have the best shooting backcourt, the Pelicans have the best shooting frontline combination. They've scored 110 points per 100 possessions in about 1,800 minutes with Anderson and Anthony Davis on the floor together over the last three seasons.

ESPN

Last Week: 12 - This Week: 10

Because the Pels hold the head-to-head tiebreaker after winning the season series with OKC, playoff destiny was in their hands as of Monday morning. ESPN's trusty Basketball Power Index, however, gives New Orleans just a 23.9-percent shot at beating OKC out because of its tougher schedule.

Sports Illustrated

Last Week: 13 - This Week: 12

Tyreke Evans’s transformation into an efficient scorer is an ongoing process, but recent signs are promising. Evans has shot above 50% in each of his last six games. His jump shot remains an iffy proposition (30.3% on the year), but when Evans attacks the rim he’s tough to contain.

Yahoo! Sports

Last Week: 14 - This Week: 14

Coach Monty Williams has done a good job this season with Anthony Davis in and out of the lineup.

CBS Sports

Last Week: 15 - This Week: 14

Are you impressed they're over .500 and battling for a playoff spot into the last two weeks of the season? Or are you underwhelmed by how much they struggle while having Anthony Davis? They are the NBA's example of glass-half-empty, glass-half-Brow.

News of Note

In my article this morning I asked if Monty Williams is more like Kevin McHale or Randy Wittman. Well, Bullets Forever responded.

Trolls gonna troll.