Just ten games remain for the New Orleans Pelicans. Thanks to a few recent wins by the Sacramento Kings their hold on the sixth spot continues to tighten. Catching the Minnesota Timberwolves for the fifth spot, once unthinkable, is now reasonable if unlikely. The injury list is growing by the day and Robin Lopez, with his long standing war against mascots, puts the future of Pierre the Pelican in question. Will Pierre, who has already seen some time on the injured list in his brief history, finish the year on the inactive list?
In all seriousness the New Orleans Pelicans can afford no more than two victories in the next ten games to assure they remain in sixth for the NBA Draft Lottery. Each victory by the Kings increases the margin for "error" but given the general dysfunction a long losing streak to end the year is hardly out of the question. New Orleans has an extremely soft schedule to close out this lost season; seven are against teams destined for the lottery and the Chicago Bulls could be eliminated from playoff contention as well by April 11th. Winning five (or even more) meaningless games at the end of the season to push their lottery standing down would be so Pelicans after this year.
New Orleans went 0-3 last week. Since they're so close to the bottom of most power rankings there is really only so far many rankings can move them down. Welcome to the land of the Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, and Phoenix Suns.
Last Week: 22 - This Week: 26
Alexis Ajinca scored a season high 22 points and Omer Asik grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds in Indiana on Thursday, and the pair actually hooked up on an alley-oop against Toronto on Saturday. But starting the two together hasn't really worked out for the Pelicans, who were basically missing seven of their top eight guys last week, with Jrue Holiday (sore toe) the latest to miss games (again).
Last Week: 22 - This Week: 27
Anthony Davis wound up playing in 61 games this season. Since the NBA/ABA merger in 1976-77, only 17 players achieved All-NBA status playing 61 or fewer games with only four of those coming from teams with losing records. But Davis, for all of the Pels' many injuries and struggles, still ranks in the top 10 in PPG, RPG and PER, so don't be shocked if he snags a (lucrative) spot on the All-NBA third team.
Last Week: 26 - This Week: 28
Hear that? It’s the sound of the wheels falling off the wagon.
Last Week: 23- This Week: 27
I think management had the best of intentions with how they maneuvered to build around Anthony Davis, but the result is the same. Davis' growth has stagnated and it's looking very much like early-KG years. The Pelicans need to spend a week after the season reevaluating everything they think about this team and how it's put together.