Pelicans mid-season report

The New Orleans Pelicans reached the midpoint of their 2016-17 NBA season with a record of 16-25. The "Pels" are eleventh in the Western Conference but they are just a game and a half out of the Playoffs. Anthony Davis is way too good of a two-way player to have his team be 16-25.

Is it possible for the Pelicans to be better NOW? Are they in touch with reality? Who are the five most efficient at each position? And, which players have defensive ratings better than the team defrtg? These are the questions we will answer in our Hoop Obsession mid-season report.

Davis is all-world!

Oh, the Pelicans. They should be so much better. Anthony Davis is worthy of being talked about as one of the best two-way players in the NBA today. The Pelicans have done a TERRIBLE job of surrounding Davis with the right complementary players.

New Orleans is deep at point guard. Now that Tyreke Evans is healthy, he, Jrue Holiday and Tim Frazier give the Pelicans a real strength. Evans recently returned after missing the first 29 games of the season. He is the Pelicans most talented guard but he has historically had trouble being reliable.

When Evans is available, the Pelicans would be wise to roll with him at the point, and slide Jrue Holiday to the TWO spot. E'Twaun Moore and Buddy Hield (rookie) are both solid NBA backups at this stage of their respective careers.

As good as Davis is, his real position in the NBA should be center. Davis just does not shoot the three ball well enough (presently at 30% 3-pt. fg) to consistently stretch defenses. Furthermore, Davis has more turnovers than assists. Terrence Jones is also a center in our opinion.

The weakness of New Orleans comes at the forward positions. The Pelicans inexplicably signed Solomon Hill to a four-year $48 million deal. He is woefully inefficient, and does not make enough of a defensive difference to warrant that kind of money or starting position.

To make matters worse, the Pelicans only player who fits the bill as a stretch four is Dante Cunningham. He is so inefficient compared to the rest of the NBA players at that position that it is laughable. Newly added Donatas Motiejunas is a career 30% three-point shooter that is also more of a center than a forward.

The Pelicans are battling with two players in Hill and Cunningham that put the team at such an offensive deficit, not even a GREAT player like Anthony Davis came make up the efficiency loss.

Are the Pelicans in touch with their reality?

Absolutely not. The Pelicans have a championship winning type player in Anthony Davis yet their roster makes no sense. They are three-deep with good point guards, have zero forwards that are efficient, and they have Davis, Jones, Motiejunas, Omer Asik, and Alexa Ajinca who all do basically the same thing as pivot players.

The Pelicans do have their own 2017 first round NBA Draft pick. They will also get Philadelphia's second round pick. It seems likely they will have their own second round pick too (unless they somehow finish in the top 5 in the NBA).

Five most efficient by position

PG - Tyreke Evans .629, SG - Jrue Holiday .507, SF - Solomon Hill .302, *PF - Terrence Jones .508, C Anthony Davis .875

* Jones does not shoot the three-ball well enough (21% 3-pt. FG) to be a modern-day NBA four. Jones is more of a pivot.

Which players have defensive ratings better than the team defrtg? (players w/ 300 minutes played minimum)

The Pelicans TEAM defensive rating is 105.9 (7th of 30). The players with defensive ratings better than the team average: Anthony Davis 99, and Terrence Jones 104.


NBA related. Trade targets.