The New Orleans Pelicans are just a mediocre team now. Since November 20th they are 10-11 in 21 games. The offense ranks 13th in that span posting a 103.4 offensive rating. The defense is slightly improved; 24th in the league at 105.6. A record hovering around .500 that's kind of good on offense and just above train wreck on defense.
Narrow the results to the last 10 games and the Pelicans are 15th on offense (104.1) and 16th on defense (104.3). Thoroughly average with a largely healthy roster. The big six rotation players (Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, and Omer Asik) have missed just one game total in the last ten. Of course, with Evans suffering from tendinitis in the same knee he's had three surgeries on in the last year and a half there is reasonable concern about his long term health.
Asik is inching toward the 20 or so minutes most expected him to play each night. In the last ten games no player has posted a better net rating than Asik's +7.0. Stretching the sample back to December 1st and Asik continues to claim king of the hill status.
Still, Alvin Gentry is leaning heavily on Anthony Davis. Davis has averaged 38 minutes a game since the beginning of December. No other Pelican is averaging more than 33. AD continues to struggle from the field and much of that is due to shot location. Just 30% of his attempts are coming in the restricted area; down from 35% last year and 40% his sophomore year. Davis is posting just a 41.5% eFG% outside the restricted area this season in route to his worst eFG% (50.6%) and TS% (55.5%) of his entire career.
New Orleans went 1-2 this week. The sole victory was over a tired Dallas Mavericks squad on the second night of a back-to-back. The schedule fairy delivers those same Mavericks again on Wednesday; who will be playing the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. How do Power Rankers react to the Pelicans being so blah? Meh.
Last Week: 23 - This Week: 22
The Pelicans are serious Jekyll and Hyde offensive team. Since Dec. 2, they've scored 115 points per 100 possessions in their seven wins and 93 in their eight losses. Eric Gordon -- 56 percent shooting (26-for-46 from 3-point range) in the wins, 29 percent (9-for-38) in the losses -- has been the biggest barometer, but Ryan Anderson, Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday have all shot much better in the wins.
Last Week: 20 - This Week: 23
Something tells me NBA fantasy owners aren't paying much attention to the standings, which still find New Orleans in the league's bottom five in terms of total wins despite the gradual returns to health of Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday. Something tells me they still harbor a deep fondness for Anthony Davis, whose six 30-point, 10-rebound games lead the league.
Last Week: 22 - This Week: 23
How’s Anthony Davis doing? The 22-year-old star has seen a slight downturn in his numbers, with an uptick in three-point attempts hurting his field goal percentage, but he’s still averaging 23 points, a career-high 11.1 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.3 steals. How are the Pelicans doing? Eh…
Last Week: 22 - This Week: 23
Since December 15, the Pelicans are an above-average offense (14th) and a middle-of-the-road defense (16th). It's progress, and they haven't been getting blown out as much. It seems like pretty mediocre progress, but with as bad as they've been, they've got to start somewhere.