At 4-0, they are the lone undefeated team remaining in the NBA. They play in the same conference as the reigning back-to-back NBA champion Golden State Warriors, the LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers and the James Harden-led Houston Rockets, and yet, no one hardly talks about them.
How a team that has a legit MVP at center, and perhaps the game’s best big man is not getting the same amount of love as the likes of Golden State, Los Angeles and Houston is simply mind-boggling.
The team I speak of is the New Orleans Pelicans.
Thanks to their 117-115 win over the Brooklyn Nets, “the Pels” as they are referred to down in The Big Easy, are quietly–like their namesake–flying under the radar, with perhaps the best big-man front court trio of the forementioned Davis, former Laker castoff, Julius Randle and Nikola Mirotic, one of the league’s most underrated point guards in Jrue Holliday and one of the league’s most underrated coaches in Alvin Gentry.
Going into their matchup with Brooklyn, New Orleans averaged 132.0 points in three games, their 4-0 start is their best since the 2010-11 season when the Pelicans started 8-0.
While Eastern contenders Milwaukee and Toronto are also both undefeated at 6-0 and 5-0 respectively, and the upstart Detroit Pistons have roared out to a 4-0 mark as well, the East is still the East and the West is the equivalent of Call of Duty IIII’s new “Battle Royale” mode.
You get me?
It is a long season and way too early to anoint any one team a challenger–i.e. unwitting sacrificial lamb to the half demigods from the East Bay–but if there is possibly one sleeper that could at least make Dubs work for it, it may be the Pelicans.
As long as they keep winning and playing the way they are now, it should make for an interesting season down in NOLA.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!