The Pelicans win streak has reached three games, and the team has won five of their last seven games overall. The eight straight losses to start the season have almost become a distant memory, and a lot of that credit deserves to go to Jrue Holiday. With him, the Pelicans have posted a breathtaking 112.7 Offensive Rating, a sublime 98.7 Defensive Rating, and best of all, a perfect 3-0 record!
However, we cannot fail to also mention Anthony Davis in the same breath. Although the team operated well in his partial absence last night against the Atlanta Hawks, he’s been a huge constant all season, posting 30.4 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.9 blocks and 1.7 steals per contest.
Last October, it was nearly a unanimous decision that most general managers preferred to start a franchise with Davis over any other player in the league, but after a disappointing season, he fell from this lofty perch by most accounts and was replaced by another recent Big Blue Nation center, Karl-Anthony Towns.
The future clashes with the somewhat newer future for just the third time in the NBA. In their first two meetings Davis walked away the winner, both in the stat line and win column, yet it was almost symbolic that in the other two Pelicans-Timberwolves matchups last season, Town’s team prevailed twice in large part because Davis was sidelined.
As we’ve witnessed since Holiday’s return, stars appearing in games is proving to be the most crucial factor for the Pelicans. If Davis’ knee doesn’t swell too much overnight, New Orleans should have him and Holiday available to lead the throng of role players behind them in an important game before Thanksgiving. Fetching another victory would go a long way to legitimizing the Pelicans in so many eyes outside of New Orleans.
Things to Watch
Timberwolves coming out of the gates. Minnesota has the 2nd best Net Rating in first quarters, but that’s largely due to how they performed at the start of games in their four wins. Simply put, the Pelicans can’t allow the Wolves to come out like gangbusters.
Pelicans coming out of halftime. If New Orleans can dodge Minnesota’s first quarter bullet, they should be able to fire one of their own in the third quarter. The Timberwolves have been inexplicably all kinds of awful following intermission.