Watchability Rankings: No. 11 Pelicans
by Adi Joseph, USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports’ Adi Joseph and Sean Highkin will be counting down NBA teams based on watchability for the upcoming 2013-14 seasons. We’ll go one team a day, from least-watchable to most, giving you an idea of what to keep an eye out for this season. Today, we continue with the No. 11 New Orleans Pelicans:
2012-13 record: 27-55, missed playoffs.
Adi Joseph’s 2013-14 record projection: 39-43, miss playoffs.
Two best players (2012-13 numbers): PF Anthony Davis (13.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, 1.8 blocks a game), PG Jrue Holiday (17.7 points, 8.0 assists a game for Philadelphia 76ers).
Overview: The Hornets rebuild their roster around Davis, Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson this offseason by adding two high-profile, high-potential young guards. Holiday was the obvious big addition and needs to play well to validate a cost of two first-round picks. But Tyreke Evans, the 2009-10 rookie of the year, also came with a hefty cost, as the team gave up starting center Robin Lopez and point guard Greivis Vasquez. All of these players are tied up for the long term, but winning needs to happen sooner than later.
WHY YOU CAN’T MISS THEM
The Pelicans! After dealing with a co-opted nickname for years as the New Orleans Hornets, which never felt right in the first place, New Orleans finally has a team name of its own (to go along with an owner of its own, Tom Benson, who also owns the New Orleans Saints and bought the team from the NBA). The name is a great one. Pelicans are fierce. The logo is cool. The jerseys look good. The court is top-flight. Everything is exciting.
The human windmill: Davis averaged 4.7 blocks a game in his one, championship-winning season at the University of Kentucky. And while his rookie year in the NBA wasn’t as swat-filled, the 6-11 big man has a 7-4 wingspan and the type of leaping ability to make absurd plays on a nightly basis.
Guards with chips: Holiday was traded for draft picks after an All-Star season and signing a very reasonable four-year extension. Evans couldn’t get a deal from the … [For more on NBA Watchability Rankings: No. 11 New Orleans Pelicans, click here.]