this is a discussion within the Pelicans Community Forum; Tuesday night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks was, to be honest, pedestrian statistically for Anthony Davis. A 20-point, 12-rebound outing in which he only shot 33 percent from the field isn't a line for the history books for the young ...
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|03-18-2015, 04:30 PM||#1|
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2015 NBA Playoffs: New Orleans Pelicans Proving to Be Real Threat
Tuesday night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks was, to be honest, pedestrian statistically for Anthony Davis. A 20-point, 12-rebound outing in which he only shot 33 percent from the field isn't a line for the history books for the young forward.
But it was just enough for the Pelicans to earn another vital win against a playoff opponent, with the New Orleans Pelicans coming out on top 85-84 as Davis hit the eventual game-winner with 1:07 remaining.
Since late February, the Pelicans have been one of the hottest teams in the league, winning 10 of their last 13, including victories against the Toronoto Raptors, Memphis Grizzlies and Bucks (twice), and the impressive run has come at just the right time.
The talent in the Western Conference is at an all-time high, and with seven spots seemingly locked up already, it comes down to just one spot for the Pelicans to fight for. The toughest competition has been coming from the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have been without superstar Kevin Durant for long stretches this season.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Pelicans have the same record as the Thunder, and while the Phoenix Suns pose a serious threat for the last spot as well, New Orleans and Oklahoma City are the top contenders for the West's eighth seed.
Although the teams aren't scheduled to face off for the rest of the season, if the Pelicans can survive against a difficult schedule, they could be one of the toughest outs in the playoffs.
Davis is having one of the greatest seasons in the history of the NBA, ranking in the top 10 in points, rebounds and assists while also threatening the record for single season PER. Since the calendar turned to March, Davis has been averaging nearly 30 points per game, including a 43-point outing against the Bucks.
The highlight, though, came in a double-overtime loss to the Denver Nuggets, in which Davis nearly finished with a quadruple-double, recording 36 points, 14 rebounds, nine blocks and seven assists.
Nobody expected him to be this good this quickly, but the former Kentucky big man has developed into one of the top five players in the league and is a matchup nightmare for every team in the NBA.
But it isn't just Davis who has been a standout this season, as a number of players have been stepping up to make New Orleans even more dangerous.
Shooting guard Tyreke Evans is averaging 16.8 points per game to go along with 6.5 assists, and he is a talented second scorer who can go off on any given night. Jrue Holiday is also a threat, ranking third on the team with 15.2 points and 7.1 assists per game.
If the Pelicans can get all of their pieces going at the same time, they are almost unbeatable, and the momentum they have been building since the All-Star break has turned them into one of the most dangerous teams in the league.
It is never safe to put money on a No. 8 seed upsetting the top team in a conference, and the Golden State Warriors would still be heavy favorites to advance out of the first round if the Pelicans manage to make it into the playoffs.
But even though Golden State's Draymond Green has been one of the best defensive players in the league this year, guarding Davis is a completely different monster. In his one game against Golden State this season, Davis scored 30 points in a blowout loss.
The second game, which Davis had to sit out because of an injury, was much closer, finishing 128-122 in favor of the Warriors back in December.
If the Pelicans can get hot enough to eliminate Stephen Curry and the Warriors, be on alert, because Davis might tear through his first ever trip to the NBA playoffs.
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