The Bird Writes staff made 9 bold predictions last year and struck out miserably. Anthony Davis having a somewhat down season hurt many, but hey, there is a reason why they’re named bold predictions!
Give me one bold prediction for the upcoming season. (Your answer may be individually or team-based.)
Jason: Anthony Davis awarded NBA All-Defensive First Team honors
This is going to be the year Anthony Davis finally makes the NBA All-Defensive First Team. Now that the Pelicans have added some players on the wing who can play defense in the NBA — I'm looking at you Solomon Hill — as well as some versatility in the post in Terrence Jones, Davis will face fewer instances of having to guard both the opponent that blows by his teammate and still worry about his original assignment. I think that the Pelicans will have a solid defense anchored by Davis, and in return he will finally get the recognition he deserves.
Kevin: Alexis Ajinca trade
After Alvin Gentry was hired, the Alexis Ajinca and Omer Asik signings never made much sense together. Well, I think the Pelicans remedy that soon as Ajinca is traded away during the regular season — before any of the Philadelphia 76ers big men that have been sitting on the block all offseason.
David: Jrue Holiday returns as top-10 point guard
Jrue Holiday, when he returns, is going to be absolutely incredible. He will be a top ten performer at the point guard position in the minutes he logs this season. Don’t be surprised if he averages 20 points and about 7 or 8 assists a game. The franchise might be out of the playoff picture by the time Holiday is able to return, but when he does, many fans are going to clamor about re-signing him during the next offseason.
Oleh: Tyreke Evans will return before Jrue Holiday and Quincy Pondexter
Tyreke Evans has been written off by nearly all, which is going to serve as extra motivational fuel. He has always exhibited the tendencies of a warrior, normally returning to the basketball court earlier than expected, yet this situation feels different. He’s not only playing for the love of the game this season but also a new contract and likely a new future employer. Can’t promise the basketball would be pretty and effective, but Reke is going to attempt to wreak havoc as soon as the doctors allow it.
Fernando: E’Twaun Moore leads league in 3-point percentage
Had he qualified, E'twaun Moore’s 45.2 3FG% would have placed him 3rd in 2015-16, finishing behind only Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Curry. So, maybe this shouldn’t classify as a bold claim, but I think Moore will lead the league in 3pt percentage. (For what it’s worth, he’s sitting at 61.5% through 4 preseason games.)
Travis: Buddy Hield becomes one of the most valuable and dependable Pelicans
Buddy Hield will finish second on the team in scoring (behind Davis) and first in games played. Maybe this isn’t that bold, but for a rookie, he appears to be utterly playable for his shooting alone, which this team badly needs. He’s had good games and bad games in the preseason, but here’s hoping he’ll get a ton of run, a green-light from three, and the toughness to get through a long 82-game season relatively in good shape. Believe in Buddy Buckets!