The New Orleans Pelicans have a new look, new nickname, and shiny new roster full of highly paid players as the head into the 2013-14 NBA season. With the additions of Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans, as well as another year of experience for second-year big man Anthony Davis, the expectations for this team are deservedly high.
However, the over/under for this team isn’t high at all. Bovada’s sports book has their line set at 39.5 wins heading into the start of the season, which essentially puts them in a group of five teams that are going to be competing for the seventh and eighth seeds in the Western Conference for the playoffs.
There’s no denying the amount of talent on this Pelicans team, but I have to lean towards the under when it comes to their line. Though a lot of my reasoning for that pick is due to the fact that the West is loaded with extremely talented teams this season, the biggest reason that I favor New Orleans winning fewer than 39.5 games this season is because this team by itself leaves me feeling lukewarm.
I like Holiday as a point guard, Evans as a sixth man, Davis as a potential star, Ryan Anderson as a stretch-four and a number of other pieces on this Pelicans’ roster. However, I’m not sure how this team melds together. They performed well in the preseason, but they also didn’t have to juggle minutes in a crowded backcourt and it was, after all, only the preseason.
New Orleans’ lineup is simply too cluttered for me. I’m not sure how this team is going to settle into roles with the personnel they have and am not sure how they gel as a unit. Moreover, their center situation, which is only mediocre in the most optimistic of views, is another concern for them coming into this season. This team could make a deal or could figure out rotation and roles beautifully this season and prove me wrong, but until I see that happen, under 39.5 wins feels like the logical decision.