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New Orleans Pelicans rocket up NBA power rankings as they prepare to host Houston

Trading for DeMarcus Cousins has dramatically shaped the national opinion of the franchise.

NBA All-Star Celebrity Game 2017 Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

All it took was a massive trade for the NBA’s best center and suddenly every single national media outlet is talking, glowingly, about the New Orleans Pelicans.

DeMarcus Cousins is now the Pelicans’ starting center and the 1B to Anthony Davis. Calling a talent of Boogie’s magnitude Robin to AD’s Batman does a significant disservice. This is really a case of Batman teaming up with Superman — who is best cast as who can be debated among those of you with better comic book lore understanding than myself.

The Pelicans rise substantially in all three power rankings, with Marc Stein (+10) and Matt Moore (+9) being the most bullish on the new superhero duo. Last night I hoped New Orleans would look hard at Quinn Cook (I’ve been high on him since last year when the Pelicans earned an injured player exception) and Hollis Thompson. Lo and behold, both were in New Orleans today for a workout.

New Orleans has one open roster spot currently but could open more should they execute an uneven trade before the trade deadline, sending out more players than they receive in return.

Last Week: 23 - This Week: 19

The Anthony-Davis-as-a-full-time-center experiment lasted less than two months. With the pending acquisition of DeMarcus Cousins, the Pelicans have an All-Star frontline, should climb out of the bottom five in offensive efficiency, and are looking like a playoff team. But the trade has left them with a hole on the perimeter and they have a tougher remaining schedule than the eighth-place Nuggets, who they trail by 2 1/2 games. The two teams will face each other three times in a 13-day stretch in late March and early April.


Last Week: 26 - This Week: 16

CBS Sports

Last Week: 23 - This Week: 14

That's right. I jumped them nine spots because they traded for Cousins. So what are we going with? Boogie and the Brow? AD/BC? Wildcats Inc.? I'm partial to a New Orleans themed nickname: The Tall Boys.