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Good news for Pelicans: Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson all healthy, working out

Aug 19, 2014, 4:01 PM EST

New Orleans Pelicans v Sacramento Kings Getty Images

The Pelicans were ravaged by injuries last season: Jrue Holiday played 34 games, Ryan Anderson 22, Eric Gordon 64, and even Anthony Davis missed 15 games.

This season, if they can stay healthy the Pelicans are a playoff team in the West.

Which is why this note from GM Dell Demps, via Nakia Hogan of the Times-Picayune, is a good sign.

The Pelicans are a team on the rise that had a great off-season. They have the fastest rising star in the NBA in Anthony Davis, a guy primed to breakout into the public consciousness using Team USA this summer as the springboard. Within a couple years he’ll be the third best player in the NBA.

But New Orleans needed a real center to pair with him, so they went and got Omer Asik from the Rockets during Houston’s “clear out the cap space” sale. He is a perfect fit next to Davis and may give New Orleans the best defensive front line in the NBA. Then they can bring Anderson, one of the game’s best stretch fours, off the bench (Davis and Anderson had crazy good +/- numbers when paired last season).

Then if the Holiday/Gordon backcourt steps up and Tyreke Evans can give them anything, you’ve really got something.

Something that will start with a trip to the playoffs next season.

  1. Mr. Wright 212 - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    Yet the Knicks making the playoffs is a reach? Check.

    • spursareold - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      The Knicks are horrible. Check.

    • av416 - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:19 PM

      How can you possibly compare the two rosters, Mr. Wright.

    • patfic5 - Aug 19, 2014 at 6:39 PM

      Pelicans would be a top 4 seed in the East.

    • avb300 - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:02 AM

      Pels are my sleeper team in the West

      Check out this post on rim protectors:

      http://avb300.wordpress.com/

  2. jerze2387 - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    And yet another article that goes from news to Kurt helin and his personal predictions and biased opinions.

    • Kurt Helin - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:55 PM

      Do you have any idea what the format is here? Actually, your comment answered my question. My bad.

  3. spursareold - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    There will be 9-10 playoff caliber teams in the WC. Unfortunately, there are only 8 spots. NO is up and coming, and Phoenix barely missed last year. In addition, Kobe is back, and they have Julius Randle in the mix now. I don’t really see any of the playoff teams from last year falling back much, so there will be 2-3 teams on the outside looking in.

    • bryanhamade - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      Kobe is back? Like that matters. This isn’t old school Kobe. No player ever came back from an Achilles to dominate at his age. Even if he comes back close to as good, who else do they have? Lakers barely have 6 dudes on the roster as is.

    • 1friendofthepeople - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      Memphis could drop. They had 50 wins but it was an incredible grind with a point differential somewhere between +1.5 to +2, and they didn’t look like the same playoff team from years past.

      The Suns and Pelicans are improving. But the Pelicans can never stay healthy so i’d bet on the Suns making it.

      • 1friendofthepeople - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:32 PM

        Just looked it up. Memphis +1.6 differential and the Suns were +2.6

      • savvybynature - Aug 19, 2014 at 6:06 PM

        Memphis’ best player, Marc Gasol, missed almost half the season last year though.
        When he returned they had one of the best records in the league for the remainder of the season. And defensive oriented teams tend to have lower point differentials.
        If Memphis stays healthy, I don’t see them missing the playoffs. They almost knocked off OKC remember, and the Thunder were possibly the second best team in the league last season.
        Injuries will likely decidethe last couple playoff spots in the West, so trying to predict it seems like a fool’s errand.

      • 1friendofthepeople - Aug 19, 2014 at 7:21 PM

        I’m not saying that its going to happen, just that I wouldn’t be surprised if they were the playoff team that has a slight drop off.

        There is absolutely no point in any discussion about the upcoming basketball season/playoffs if we assume that because of the chance of freak injuries occurring, like Westbrook 2 years ago, no player should be assumed to not have a horrible injury this season.

        The Thunder beat the Grizz so soundly in games 1 and 2, which were truthfully much worse than the score indicated, that many were expecting a sweep. I absolutely give the Grizz credit they’re always one of the most competitive teams in the playoffs, they’re always up there with OKC as the biggest threats to the spurs, and they fought to force a game 6 vs OKC last playoffs.

        I think most of the players are good established veterans, but also think that Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol won’t be making any significant improvements at this point in their 30’s, I think they are more likely to be headed towards their decline than their primes. In his 7th or 8th year Conley has pretty much reached his ceiling. They were exceptionally good in close game, better than years past, I think that will still be a strength but will regress towards their mean. And I expect Phoenix to keep improving, which might not happen, and make the playoffs.

      • duhwighthoward - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:26 AM

        Conley is arguably the best point guard in the league.
        Tony Allen is arguably the best defender at shooting guard in the league.
        Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph make one of the best big man duos in the league.

        They should have been playing against the Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, but the league wanted the Thunder and suspended Zach Randolph for Game 7.

        Their key players are all veterans, and their bench is suspect. I’ll give you that. Still, it would be hard to imagine them missing the playoffs.

    • patfic5 - Aug 19, 2014 at 6:40 PM

      Lakers aren’t making the playoffs. Stop that.

  4. timberwolvesbrisin - Aug 19, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    If the Pelicans are a “playoff team” as you claim, you need to list the team that is out that made it last year, not to mention the 47 win Phoenix Suns. I think it is a reach to say they’re going to better than any team that made the playoffs and/or Phoenix. For one, they have a lot of similar players, secondly they have a lot of injury-prone players, and lastly they didn’t show any signs last year of reaching their potential, so I dont know what makes this year much different. I wouldnt be shocked if they do, but they arent favorites by any means.

    • lenbias34pt - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:07 PM

      I would like opinions on the 8 West teams to dance next season.
      In order:
      OKC
      Spurs
      Mavs
      Clippers
      Portland
      Pelicans
      Golden State
      Rockets

      Opinions will vary.
      I’d also like to say Mr Davis will be the second best player in the NBA next season.

    • goodellgate - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:26 PM

      Go back and watch the 10 games stretch where the team was healthy, they did more than showing signs of reaching their potential.

    • 1friendofthepeople - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:34 PM

      I think they had 48 wins.

    • spursareold - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      Salty T’pups fan is salty.

  5. duhwighthoward - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    Kurt Helin: You have a particularly annoying writing style.

    In your first sentence, you list how many games three players played, and then end the sentence by stating how many games a fourth player missed.

    Later you write that Anthony Davis will be the third best player in the NBA. Why, you haven’t a clue as to who the two best players in the NBA will be in a couple of years! Nor do you as to whether Anthony Davis will be better than them!

    You go on to write that the addition of Omer Asik will give the Pelicans the best defensive front line in the NBA. 2 BIG PROBLEMS WITH THIS: 1) There is no such thing as a “front line” in basketball. Did you mean frontcourt? 2) Omer Asik is a decent player, but do you really think he, Davis, and Evans are better defensively than Duncan, Splitter, and Leonard on the Spurs?

    Finally you write “if… Tyreke Evans can give them anything…” If? Is Tyreke Evans that bad of a player? My God! He may not be Michael Jordan, but give him some credit. He is a good basketball player!

  6. 1friendofthepeople - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:09 PM

    Preview to the article should say something along the lines of, “The Pelicans, a playoff team?”

    An opinionated article makes it sound, to me, like your piece will be totally biased to paint the Pelicans as a playoff team, and stretching the truth as much as possible to support your opinion. You shouldn’t say things like, “I think” the Pelicans will make the playoffs. If you want your writing to be taken seriously.

    • timberwolvesbrisin - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      Yah, the tone also rubbed me the wrong way too.

    • asimonetti88 - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:18 PM

      You realize this is a blog, not a new site, right? That means that it is, by definition, opinionated.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:51 PM

        asimonettii88

        that means BOTH facts and one’s opinions are wrong on here is all…

        don’t go using facts and truths now sir…

      • 1friendofthepeople - Aug 19, 2014 at 6:25 PM

        He might want to write sports articles professionally. He’s good enough to have random basketball fans across the country reading his blog writings. I don’t think its unreasonable to give him honest feedback if it could be helpful.

  7. saint1997 - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:28 PM

    Trade Gordon for a small forward please!!! All the advanced stats say so

    • spursareold - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      No one wants Gordon’s contract, and the associated mandatory injury missed games.

  8. kcar28 - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:43 PM

    unfortunately Gordon has an untradeable contract…he is also 100% opting in next year

    • goodellgate - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:51 PM

      Rumor is he might, but I have an hard time believing it.

      • spursareold - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:17 AM

        Why? No one will pay him that much now, and his opt in will take him to the summer of 2016, when the new TV deal comes on line and he will get more than next summer.

  9. 00maltliquor - Aug 19, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    This is a very, very intriguing team.

    Especially if Austin Rivers can show some growth and Patric Young comes in pissed as all hell proving he should have been drafted, lookout.

    I especially love how they can switch it up and go big and defensive with Davis and Asik or they can go small and fast with Davis and have Anderson stretch the floor beautifully. I mean, thier big situation is marvelous. Withey as well has the potential to be a very solid and legit 7″0 backup C. What’s not to love?!

    • duhwighthoward - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:32 AM

      Austin Rivers?

      Only reason he is in the NBA or went to Duke is because of daddy.

      You can probably shoot better than him, even after kicking back a 40.

  10. mrlaloosh - Aug 19, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    Does anyone actually care? The Spurs, Thunder & Warriors will decide the west. That’s a fact. Memphis, Dallas, Houston NOLA etc. are not good enough. That’s a fact. And an opinion.

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 19, 2014 at 7:06 PM

      sir

      The Spurs and Thunder yes…

      The Warriors NO.

      It will be the Clippers along with the Spurs and Thunder that decide the west…

      The Warriors will be there with the Mavs, Houston, Memphis etc…

    • 00maltliquor - Aug 19, 2014 at 7:09 PM

      *and the Lakers

  11. ProBasketballPundit - Aug 19, 2014 at 8:57 PM

    “This season, if they can stay healthy the Pelicans are a playoff team in the West.”

    I’m sorry but I laughed out loud at this. Pretty hard actually. I’m all about Anthony Davis making a leap but any team that’s counting on Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon in starting roles…. please.

    • hardballtalkusername - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:36 AM

      What’s so bad about having Tyreke Evans in a starting role?

  12. campcouch - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:56 AM

    People blog within a blog.

  13. ultichiva - Aug 21, 2014 at 1:44 AM

    Monty Williams is the new Vinny DeL Negro … Talented roster.. Monty Sucks as a coach…at both X’s & 0’s and implementing a rotation… No playoffs for Pelicans

  14. Lujah - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:53 AM

    Well this should be interesting.

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