BY SAM LACHOW
|New Orleans Pelicans|
|6-4||Last 10 Games||7-3|
|103.1||Points scored per 100 possessions||104.8|
|105.1||Points allowed per 100 possessions||105.9|
|94.0||Possessions per game||94.7|
|44.9%||Field goal percentage||45.6%|
|Joe Johnson (15.4)||Top Scorer||Anthony Davis (20.7)|
Projected starting lineup: Brian Roberts, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu, Anthony Davis, Alexis Ajinca
The Pelicans have a superstar in the 20-year-old Davis, who looks like a combination of Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan. Besides Davis, the Pelicans were surrounded by a series of talented offensive players including Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson, Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon. Unfortunately for the Pelicans, both Holiday and Anderson are out with injuries.
Even with a banged-up team in the tough Western Conference, Monty Williams’s squad has stayed together. The Pelicans have played well of late, winning seven out of their last ten games. The Pelicans are an overall average NBA team; scoring a drop under 100 points per game puts them at 17th in the league, while allowing 101.3 points per game puts them at 16th in the Association.
The Pelicans are the odd team that’s both young and slow. They play just 94.68 possessions per game, one of the slowest tempos in the league. Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans both prefer to play isolation basketball, slowing the tempo. Considering their talent and athleticism, they should play faster.
Evans should play a vital role in tonight’s game. Evans has struggled mightily of late, shooting only 36% in his late 10 games and averaging fewer than 12 points per game. The Pelicans signed Evans hoping that they would get the rookie season Tyreke Evans from the 2009-2010 season, who averaged 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists per game. Though that has not been the case this year, Evans has had great games against the Nets: in 5 games, he’s averaged 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists per game, shooting over 48%.
Mike Prada of SB Nation caught this Evans possession from Friday night, where he dribbled 20 times, didn’t pass, and turned the ball over:
So that also happened.
The Nets are coming off a brutal performance against the Pistons where they got beat across the board. The Nets have the chance to go on a bit of winning streak in their next four games against the Pelicans, Bobcats, Bulls and Jazz, four under-.500 teams. If they can contain Anthony Davis, they’ve got a shot.