The New Orleans Pelicans haven’t seen the Playoffs since the 2015 season. They were swept by Golden State, and that book was quickly closed but no one thought it would take two more missed playoffs to try to write a new chapter. This season, the Pelicans have a chance to make some noise and possibly get out of the first round.
No one expected the Pelicans to be here following the injury to DeMarcus Cousins with 15 seconds remaining in their January 26th game against the Houston Rockets. However, Anthony Davis is averaging an NBA best 30.4 PPG. Davis and the Pelicans have collectively fought to propel their season and force their way into the playoffs.
Why They Will Win
With apologies to the dozens and dozens of fans who own Rajon Rondo, Jrue Holiday, Nikola Mirotic, or E’Twaun Moore jerseys, this series comes down to Anthony Davis. The man has put this team on his back to propel them into the playoffs, and he will have to continue to do so if the Pelicans have any chance of success in the playoffs.
Why They Won’t
With Cousins out of action, The Pelicans have to solely rely on Davis to do most of the work. As mentioned above, the man is capable of carrying the team, however if the team is solely relying on him, they might abused by the Trail Blazers.
The squad. It’s time for the rest of the Pelican’s squad to step it up and help Davis carry out his high level of play. Holiday and Rondo both need to step up their guard play if they want to make it a tough series for Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
Best Case Scenario:
“The Team” steps up and gets past the mighty impressive Trail Blazers. You expect any headline from a Pelicans win to start with the words “Anthony Davis” but if Rondo and Holiday can elevate their play to steal some of those headlines, Pelicans fans have reason for serious hope. If Mirotic’s three point shooting can be used as a lethal weapon, then maybe you are even looking at some wins in the second round.
Worst Case Scenario:
The series turns into a score-fest which favors the deeper Trail Blazers. Lillard becomes too much of a threat for the guards and at the perimeter, which leads to The Pelicans exiting in the first round. True worst case is the Pelicans once again get swept in their visit to the playoffs.