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The Bird Calls Podcast Ep. 97: Anthony Davis and LeBron James, two MVP candidates do battle tonight in Cleveland

A Pelicans-Cavaliers podcast preview.

NBA All-Star Game 2018 Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Just seven games remain on the schedule so each and every one matters immensely.

For instance, the New Orleans Pelicans could wind up as high as fourth or as low as eighth in the standings by the end of the night. If the Pelicans wish to keep alive in the battle for first round home court advantage, they’ll have to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night, and they’ll have to do it against possibly the second greatest player of all time. And believe it or not, the 15-year veteran is still very much in his prime.

“I’d vote for myself as MVP.” - Lebron

  • Lebron James: 27.6, 8.6, 9.1 on 54.7 and 36.5 shooting, 28.8 PER, 12.9 WS
  • Anthony Davis: 28.3, 11.3, 2.3 (blocks) on 53.9 and 34.2 shooting, 29.1 PER, 12.5 WS
  • James Harden: 30.7, 5.4, 8.7 on 44.8 and 36.7 shooting, 30 PER, 14.4 WS

You be the judge.

Honestly, though, the bigger story might be the availability of two key players.

All-Star power forward Kevin Love recently returned from a broken hand and gave the Cavs the jolt they desperately needed, helping to team win five straight games. However, a tooth was forced from his mouth against Miami, and he entered into concussion protocol, missing Wednesday night’s contest with the Hornets.

Will Love be available? The Cavs are 36-12 with him, but 9-8 without.

Kyle Korver also may not be available in this one due to personal reasons.

Rajon Rondo is still a question mark with a wrist injury and will be a game-time decision. The Pelicans are 36-22 this season with him, and 7-10 without him. They need his confidence and leadership on the floor as well as the depth he provides the bench who has been struggling mightily. If anyone has a prayer of getting Nikola Mirotic going, it would probably be Rondo.

Larry Drew Sr. will be on the opposing bench in Ty Lue’s role facing off against his son, Larry Drew II, who is on his second ten day contract with the Pelicans. It will be the second such coincidence in two weeks (Jamelle and Nate McMillan). Can the son best the father again?

Pelicans’ fans will get their first taste of the new look Cavaliers — Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance, George Hill, Rodney Hood — in the Q tonight, where the Cavs are an impressive 25-11.

Can AD challenge the throne and firmly plant the Pelicans in the fourth seed tonight, or will the Pelicans be forced to regroup in a must win against the Thunder?

Join Carter Rodriguez, Editor to, Oleh Kosel and myself as we break down all the important storylines heading into this one, and let’s geaux Pels!