COMMENTARY | Don't look now, but after six preseason games, the New Orleans Pelicans have not lost a game.
Yes, I know it's only preseason and once the Pelicans tip off for real on October 30, 2013, no one will even remember their amazing inaugural preseason.
But when all you have to go on is six preseason games and your favorite team has won all six, you can't blame Pelicans fans for getting excited. Couple that with the fact that no other Western Conference NBA team is undefeated, and New Orleans is dreaming of both the NFL and NBA playoffs this season.
The biggest positive in New Orleans' undefeated preseason is the improved offensive play of Anthony Davis. After an outstanding rookie season, the Pelicans' young phenom figured to improve tremendously on the offensive end with one year of NBA experience and two years with Team USA. Through six preseason games, Davis is leading the way for New Orleans with 22.0 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. This preseason trend should continue for the Pelicans.
While fans and experts debate what will lead to success and failure in the NBA, what it really comes down to is which teams can avoid injuries. So far this preseason, the Pelicans have sustained only one injury and it could have been a lot worse. New Orleans F/G Tyreke Evans turned his ankle in what was a gruesome injury, but he may return for the season opener. Meanwhile, oft-injured G Eric Gordon has looked great in his first two preseason games of 2013.
As Pelicans fans know, New Orleans coach Monty Williams' trademark is defense. In his first three seasons in New Orleans, the defense has always ranked better than the offense. But a more dynamic starting lineup, led by PG Jrue Holiday, may see an offensive explosion in New Orleans. Through six preseason games, the Pelicans are averaging 102 points per game. That kind of production, coupled with good defense, will make the Pelicans hard to beat.
The future is now
Unfortunately, Pelicans owner Tom Benson isn't getting any younger. After witnessing his NFL franchise win a Super Bowl, I'm should he'd like to see a similar return on his $338 million NBA investment. If the 2013 offseason and preseasons are any indication, the rebuilding process is over in New Orleans. The Pelicans' starters and top reserves are all averaging well over 20 minutes as New Orleans is looking to establish chemistry among its top players.
No home games yet
The most amazing part of the Pelicans' 6-0 start to the 2013 NBA preseason is that they have yet to play in New Orleans. Although raucous home-court crowds aren't exactly prevalent in the NBA preseason, it is still impressive for the Pelicans to be undefeated without having played in New Orleans. Early indications show that attendance records may be set this year in New Orleans, which can only help the Pelicans when they finally do play at home this season.
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal New Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard New Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Pelicans. Patrick was in attendance the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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