One of the preseason discussions around the New Orleans Pelicans is if they are playoff-caliber. Thus, we will break down why they can beat out other potential eighth seeds, starting with the Dallas Mavericks.
The New Orleans Pelicans are one of the teams to really pay attention to during this upcoming NBA season. Not only do they have the most anticipated rookie in 15 years in Zion Williamson, but they also have an exciting, young roster that is more talented than people think.
The Pelicans have five players that were taken in the first 10 picks in recent drafts. Of those five, four of which have been taken in the first three picks (Zion, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Jahlil Okafor).
Okafor has not reached his potential yet and some think he never will but Ingram and Ball are legitimately talented and have even more upside. The Pelicans are pretty talented.
More from Big Easy Believer
- New Orleans Saints: Three biggest questions heading into the offseason
- New Orleans Saints: Three positives to take from playoff loss
- New Orleans Pelicans: Betting guide vs. Sacramento Kings
- New Orleans Saints: Bold predictions for Wild Card Round vs. Vikings
- New Orleans Pelicans: Betting guide in Los Angeles Lakers rematch
That has led to the discussion of whether or not the Pelicans are talented enough to make a playoff run. They seem to have what it takes just in terms of talent but their inexperience definitely will play a role in how they perform.
It also doesn’t help that they are in the Western Conference. If they were in the East then there would be a much easier path. In the West, there really might only be one spot up for grabs.
Seven teams appear to be a lock — Both LA teams, the Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors and Portland Trailblazers. That leaves the San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento Kings as potential challengers for the eighth seed.
Today, we are starting with the Dallas Mavericks.
However, it should be noted that Doncic is also inexperienced in the NBA, as he is entering just his second season, and Porzingis has no history of winning games with the New York Knicks. Plus, Porzingis hasn’t played an NBA game in 20 months.
Even if Doncic continues to impress and Porzingis returns nicely, there are other aspects that give the Pelicans an advantage. Most notably, the Mavericks really don’t have much depth around their young star duo.
The Mavericks’ third-best player is probably Tim Hardaway Jr, who has just become a bad contract at this point in his career. He is talented, but he is not suited to be the third-best player on a playoff team.
From top to bottom they do not have as much talent as the Pelicans. The Pelicans have the Rookie of the Year favorite, who will probably average 20 and 10, a borderline all-star in Jrue Holiday, a fourth-year player that is ready to leap into all-stardom in Brandon Ingram and two excellent veteran role players in J.J. Redick and Derrick Favors.
That is not mentioning Lonzo Ball, who may just be the natural point guard that the Pelicans have needed, good combo-guard Josh Hart or any of the other young pieces on the team.
Half of the young players could end up struggling this year and the Pelicans are probably still deeper than the Mavericks. That will be showcased this season and that is why the New Orleans Pelicans are better suited for a playoff run.