The final buzzer of the NBA season is about to go off, and the New Orleans Pelicans are going to miss their final shot at the postseason.
What if the Pelicans would’ve had zero players get injured this season? I predicted the Pelicans to finish as high as a 6-seed in the Western Conference at the start of the year. That bold prediction failed, but let’s take a look at the “What If Report” for this banged up team.
The team was in talks of moving Eric Gordon for a draft pick or a veteran player. No deal was finalized and now this franchise is paying for their mistakes.
Only one player on the New Orleans basketball team has been consistent all season, and that is Anthony Davis. However, one consistent NBA player can’t bring his team to the promised land. A trade would’ve helped the Pelicans make a run at getting into the postseason. The question remains: why didn’t they pull the trigger on a deal? Dell Demps and his people probably didn’t find the deal they were looking for.
Now the team is in the position without a first round pick in this years strong draft class. Moving forward after the regular season finishes, I would like to see the Pelicans make some sort of trade that would land them a first rounder. If they trade for a late first rounder that would be acceptable, because up and down this 2014 draft class isn’t going to be a let down.
What if… Tyreke Evans had been starting since day one?
There would’ve been skyrockets in flight, because Evans has been tearing it up lately. He honestly looks like a completely new player since the first time he put on his Pelican uniform. The Pelicans are 9-6 with Evans in the starting lineup, including a five-game winning streak. Why all of sudden has Evans picked up his level of play? His confidence has reached an all time high. He is playing more minutes, which lets him put up more shots.
The New Orleans fans would’ve been able to keep their Pelican gear on later in the year, if the coaching staff would’ve started Evans at the start of the season. Evans is averaging 20.3 PPG in the 15 games he has started in this season. I love the Evans-Davis combo and they mix well together when they are both on the court. Evans has great court vision to find Davis down low and Davis attracts so many defenders that he can kick the ball out to Evans for a quick two or deep three pointer.
What if… The Pelicans make one move during the free agency period?
One small addition to this team isn’t going to make a tremendous impact. However, if the Pelicans sign a big name player and a few smaller name players, than this team will be heading in the right direction. Who says this team isn’t heading in the correct direction as of now? Well, with a few star players injured it’s tough to predict how they will fair coming off their season ending injuries.
A Luol Deng or Greg Monroe signing would be ideal for this struggling squad. Deng would bring his experience and his great defense to a team that has struggled on that side of the basketball all season long. Monroe and Davis on the block would be an outstanding combo, and defenders won’t even think twice about making a move into the paint.
Eight games left in this 2013-2014 season for the Pelicans, and the playoffs are out of reach. Every season has its highs and lows, but the lows have seemed to bring the team down. If New Orleans wants to succeed in the future they may want to turn the “What If Report” into the “It Really Happened Report.”