While DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis played together for about a month and a half down the stretch last season, the true test of the duo’s compatibility and effectiveness will come in 2017/18. With an offseason and a training camp to prepare, the Pelicans should enter this season with a clearer idea of how to best use Cousins and Davis.
Whether the pairing will be a success remains to be seen. New Orleans’ roster is somewhat oddly constructed — in addition to their two stars up front, the Pelicans also invested heavily in point guard Jrue Holiday, but then signed Rajon Rondo with the intent of playing him alongside Holiday.
With the club’s other highest-paid players – Omer Asik and Solomon Hill – not expected to play substantial roles due to health problems, the Pelicans will have to rely on several inexpensive contributors – including Tony Allen, Ian Clark, Darius Miller, and Dante Cunningham – to fill rotation roles and complement the team’s stars.
There’s certainly no shortage of talent on the Pelicans’ roster, but the odd mix of players makes it easy to imagine things going south. Speaking to reporters this week, GM Dell Demps downplayed the idea that New Orleans needs to get off to a good start to avoid disaster, but with Demps and head coach Alvin Gentry potentially on the hot seat and Cousins in a contract year, a hot start would certainly help.
Despite New Orleans’ playoff aspirations, oddsmakers are still lukewarm about the team’s chances to make an impact in a tough conference, with offshore betting site Bovada placing the Pelicans’ over/under at 39.5 wins. The club was 34-48 a year ago.
What do you think? Can the star power on the roster ensure that the Pelicans win at least 40 games, or is the lack of depth and versatility on the roster too big a problem to overcome? Vote below and weigh in with your thoughts on the comment section!
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Previous over/under voting results:
- Golden State Warriors: Over 67.5 (53.57%)
- Boston Celtics: Over 55.5 (63.5%)
- Houston Rockets: Over 55.5 (65.57%)
- San Antonio Spurs: Over 54.5 (67.74%)
- Cleveland Cavaliers: Over 53.5 (68.82%)
- Oklahoma City Thunder: Over 50.5 (71.77%)
- Minnesota Timberwolves: Over 48.5 (55.69%)
- Toronto Raptors: Over 48.5 (64.21%)
- Washington Wizards: Over 47.5 (71.29%)
- Milwaukee Bucks: Over 47.5 (63.88%)
- Denver Nuggets: Under 45.5 (50.44%)
- Los Angeles Clippers: Over 43.5 (60.7%)
- Miami Heat: Over 43.5 (55.39%)
- Charlotte Hornets: Over 42.5 (51.07%)
- Portland Trail Blazers: Over 42.5 (56.3%)
- Philadelphia 76ers: Under 41.5 (53.37%)
- Utah Jazz: Over 41.5 (55.94%)