Building Blocks: The New Orleans Pelicans

Posted by C.L. Anthony on Sunday, January 05, 2014 with No comments
Written By Clevis Murray

The New Orleans Pelicans are 15-17 entering Sunday, January 5th 2014 and are currently 11th in the NBA's Western Conference.  The new look Pelicans are underachieving this season with a young core consisting of Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans and Anthony Davis. All four of the players with the exception of Davis were at one point the best players on their former teams and thought of as potential All-Stars and possibly superstar players in the NBA.

Jrue Holiday was named an All-Star in 2013 while playing with the Philadelphia 76ers and had the best season of his young career averaging 17.7 points and 8 assists per game.  Holiday was on his way to stardom until surprisingly being traded on draft day to the Pelicans.  Anthony Davis will most likely be named a 2014 All-Star with a tremendous sophomore season averaging 19.4 points, 10.2 rebounds, 3.2 blocks (leads NBA) & 1.4 steals per game.  Eric Gordon was drafted in 2008 by the Clippers and was a tremendous scorer in his tenure with the team but was plagued by injuries since his second season and has not become the player most thought he would become.  Tyreke Evans, who was originally drafted in 2009 by the Sacramento Kings, had one of the best rookie seasons in NBA history joining the company of Oscar Robertson, LeBron James and Michael Jordan. With the arrival of Ben McLemore in the summer of 2013 his departure from Sac-town was virtually guaranteed.
With a core like the one mentioned above, the Pelicans could be called a poor man's super team with the relatively young ages of their players.  Nonetheless the Pelicans also has a coach who is often compared to Doc Rivers in Monty Williams.  With the Pelicans having their core and coach of the future along with a solid role player in Ryan Anderson and interchangeable parts it can be expected the Pelicans will become contenders in the near future and are bound for a playoff run once the players are better acclimated with one another.

At this point in time, the Pelicans are searching for an identity.  The disadvantage of having such a young team filled mostly with isolation players comes in the form of the competition.  The likes of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets are accustomed to playing more of team orientated style of play.  One can't forget about the veteran Spurs who are allergic to losing and have an addiction to winning 50+ games each season for the past decade and have a young player who is bound to become a star in Kawhi Leonard when he is given more playing time.

In the NBA, teams must crawl before they walk and the Pelicans are currently in the stage of learning how to walk alongside of the other contenders in the Western Conference.  The building blocks of success are definitely in place and the foundation of the franchise is solid with the Benson Ownership group as well as a capable front office.  The New Orleans Pelicans are slowly and before our eyes becoming a force in the NBA they may have to be reckoned with for many years to come. 

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