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Latest NBA predictions and projections have New Orleans Pelicans missing 2017 playoffs

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Too much ground to make up for a new yet ill-fitting roster while learning to play together on the fly

NBA: Houston Rockets at New Orleans Pelicans Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Before numerous tip-offs this Friday evening, the New Orleans Pelicans find themselves four games in back of the 8th seeded Denver Nuggets. In between them lie another four teams in the standings.

ESPN

Not surprising, various predictions now strongly echo the fact that Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins will yet again miss another postseason in their careers.

ESPN’s Kevin Pelton has the Pelicans finishing 10th in the Western Conference based on a model using RPM data to go along with his personal predictions of how the roster rotations will play out. Pelton concedes it’s a step down from his initial projection made upon the Cousins trade news, but there’s good reason for it: Omri Casspi’s thumb injury and Cousin’s technical foul situation are very relevant pieces that need to be added to the puzzle.

Three days ago, Bleacher Report posted an article predicting the Pelicans to finish 11th. Multiple projections sites like 538 and Basketball Reference are even less optimistic.

21 games remain for the Pelicans, with the Spurs, Jazz and Raptors on tap in the coming days. The road to the promised land is beginning to look as distant as it did before the NBA trade deadline.

Hey, we’re all human: prone to temporary blindness from staring at shiny new toys!