In a move that is about as subtle as the NBA’s veto of the Chris Paul trade a few years ago, the New Orleans Pelicans have shut down forward Anthony Davis for the team’s final four games of the season. Currently at 32-46, the Pelicans sit at 10th in the NBA Draft Lottery and could possibly get to ninth without Davis in the lineup, especially considering their final four games are a gauntlet of Western Conference playoff contenders.
Seriously, the Pelicans play the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets twice each over the next six days, which means they will finish 33-49 in a “best-case” scenario. That would likely put them ahead of ninth in the lottery, ahead of the current No. 9 team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets left on their schedule, with the latter possibly resting their starters in the final game of the regular season.
So sure, Davis’ back has been a problem this season and the Pelicans have nothing left for which to play (although they have something for which not to play), but this move is for more ping pong balls in the lottery and that’s it. The league can’t fool us, especially after that Paul trade debacle a few years back. Davis is “injured” for all practical purposes, so start cheering for the Thunder and Rockets, Pelicans “fans”.
This year Davis made his first All-Star Game and with the way he is improving on a game by game basis, he’ll be in them for a long time so get your NBA All-Star Game tickets for next season today.