2013 NBA Basketball Team Preview: New Orleans Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans used a major draft-night trade with the Philadelphia 76ers to bring in Jrue Holiday. Will that particular move form the basis for a renewal of sorts in the basketball precincts of the Big Easy? This will be an especially fascinating team to watch as the season begins and then moves on from there.

New Orleans’Strengths:

The Pelicans made themselves a better team when they plucked Jrue Holiday from the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for big man Nerlens Noel. The Pelicans saddled the Sixers with a center whose health is certainly well below 100 percent at the moment, and who might not play at full strength until the 2014-2015 season. New Orleans, in return, received Holiday, one of the better players on the Philadelphia 76ers the past few seasons. Holiday owns a fairly consistent jump shot and puts forth an above-average effort on a regular basis. Holiday will probably play a lot at shooting guard this season, due to the fact that the Pelicans also signed Tyreke Evans from the Sacramento Kings. Evans dominates the ball, and in Sacramento, that didn’t work, but in New Orleans – with Anthony Davis in the middle and Holiday as part of the mix – Evans could find a roster that’s more to his liking. New Orleans should be a much better offensive team this season, with Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers in the mix. It will be important for Rivers – ravaged by injuries last season – to stay healthy and build a rapport with his new teammates. If some of the more unsteady players on this team can improve as a result of having Holiday and Evans alongside them, this team could contend for one of the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference. It’s within the realm of possibility.


New Orleans’Weaknesses:

The Pelicans own a lot of potential, but there are so many scattered parts on their roster. There is something of a thrown-together quality to this team as it is presently constructed. Holiday is a point guard, so his presence with Evans – also a point guard – could create a very confused situation for the Pelicans. As you scrutinize this team, you will find that there isn’t a lot of mature veteran leadership. NorthBet basketball students will note that Anthony Davis is just a second-year player. Eric Gordon is a headcase who has caused a lot of friction with coaches and management during his volatile stay in New Orleans. Evans might be ready to blossom, but he emerged from a highly dysfunctional situation in Sacramento that could leave him ill-equipped for anything that’s about to come his way with the Pelicans. Austin Rivers is just beginning to learn how to be an NBA player, and rookie Jeff Withey is likely to face a long-term process in terms of learning how to play center in the Association.

Odds AtNorthBet To Win The NBA Championship: +21000

Are They Worth A Shot On The Odds At NorthBet To Win It All?

New Orleans will be better than it was last season, but not enough to make the playoffs. You can see how this season develops by checking in with Northbet and following Northbet on Twitter.

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