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Anthony Davis and Terrence Jones rank among biggest NBA comeback candidates

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ESPN projects two New Orleans Pelicans to bounce back strongly from disappointing 2015-16 campaigns.

NBA: Houston Rockets at New Orleans Pelicans Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN published an article earlier this week naming twelve bounce back candidates for the 2016-17 season and two New Orleans Pelicans made the list: Anthony Davis and Terrence Jones.

There were several criteria used that included players be in at least their fourth year in the NBA and their WARP’s had finished at least 3 wins below last season’s SHOENE projection. (See the following link for more on Kevin Pelton’s SCHOENE system.)

Like with the Carmelo predictions released last month, SHOENE projects Davis to have the biggest comeback this upcoming season provided the usual disclaimer is met — as long as he stays healthy.

The big thing undermining Davis' results last season was health, as he was limited to 61 games by shoulder and knee trouble.

Unfortunately, injuries are becoming an annual thing with him. Davis heads into his age-23 season with a career-high of 68 games played.

Beyond that, Davis became more fixated on the 3-point line. That's not a bad thing, but he needs to shoot better (32.4 percent last season). Also, spending more time on the perimeter cuts into Davis' offensive rebounding. And if he's going play out there, he needs to develop as a facilitator.

But SCHOENE sees what we all know -- time is on Davis' side and, really, it all comes down to health.

Although his point and rebound totals were virtually identical the last two years, Davis’ efficiency and box score defensive impact fell precipitously under Alvin Gentry’s watch. Thus, expect many eyes to not only be on the superstar but the coaching staff as well.

In the twelfth and final slot, ESPN has selected Jones. By nearly any metric, his final season with the Houston Rockets was a tumultuous one, so much so that this once highly sought after big man was forced to sign a 1-yr minimum deal with the Pelicans.

Jones struggled badly in his final Rockets season on a Houston team that needed an answer at power forward. Now reunited with college teammate Anthony Davis in New Orleans, SCHOENE has Jones being a little less dependent on 3-pointers under Alvin Gentry and rebounding better. He's still young enough to own an upwards aging curve.

What do you guys think? Can Davis and Jones live up to this preseason hype, both staying healthy and putting up numbers similar to their sophomore campaigns, or are the odds greater that they fail to meet expectations?