Through the first couple weeks of the season, the New Orleans Pelicans have shown flashes of just exactly why they could be a surprise team in the Western Conference this year. With two weeks in the books, Anthony Davis looks like one of the best players in all of basketball and he could truly take this team to new heights.
But, he needs a little help.
Bringing in both Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans got Pelicans fans excited. Now paired with Eric Gordon, New Orleans has the potential to have a loaded group of guards. Gordon has been great through the first couple of weeks, but Holiday and Evans — not so much.
Looking at each of their efficiency early on is tough if you’re a Pelicans fan. Holiday, for one, has a PER (player efficiency rating) of just 13.7. Oddly enough, that matches his scoring average on the year. He’s also averaged 7.2 assists and two steals per game, but has committed an average of four turnovers each contest and is also shooting the ball way below par — 37 percent.
Evans, on the other hand, is even more painful to look at right now. His PER sits at a measly 7.1 while he’s averaged 8.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. It’s a nice balance, but when you throw in his 2.3 turnovers per game and look at the fact that he’s in the game for over 24 minutes per night, he’s not doing a whole lot.
Oh, Evans is also struggling from the field and shooting 33.8 percent at the moment.
The good news is, it’s early; very early. The Pelicans have seen great things from just about everyone on the team at certain points this season, but the issue remains in putting it all together consistently. If they can do that, and get more specifically from their guard play, they will absolutely be a legitimate playoff threat down the stretch of the season.
Like all teams with new faces and fresh talent, it will take time. The fact that the Pelicans have won a few games already is a great sign. They weren’t necessarily pegged to go to the playoffs by many experts, but I’ve got a sneaky feeling about this squad if they can get themselves to their potential.