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Tag: New Orleans Pelicans (page 1 of 2)

Dame, C.J. and Nurkic Propel Portland Toward Playoffs (Power Rankings: March 29, 2017 Edition)

With brilliant play since the All-Star break and a little help from his friends, Damian Lillard has led the Trail Blazers into sole possession of the Western Conference’s eighth seed (James Schumacher/Flickr).

With fewer than 10 games remaining on each team’s regular-season schedule, valuable playoff seeding is still up for grabs all over the NBA standings. Some teams, like the Celtics, Blazers and Raptors, look like they’re hitting their stride at just the right moment, building momentum that they hope will continue through the playoffs. Others, like the Hawks and Cavaliers, are just hoping that they can stop the bleeding before it’s too late. As always, the result is much debate and movement in the penultimate regular-season edition of our power rankings.

Biggest Jumps: Portland Trail Blazers (+8), Toronto Raptors (+5), Denver Nuggets (+5), New Orleans Pelicans (+5)

Biggest Falls: Minnesota Timberwolves (-14), Detroit Pistons (-9), Atlanta Hawks (-7)

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James Ham: Kings “Rip the Band-Aid Off” by Trading Cousins

James Ham takes us through enigmatic DeMarcus Cousins’ journey with the Kings and looks ahead to the franchise’s future (Senior Airman Daniel Hughes/Creative Commons).

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Last Sunday, the Sacramento Kings finally dealt the player who served as both franchise cornerstone and a near-constant thorn in their side for his first six and a half NBA seasons. Comcast Sports Net California Kings Insider James Ham breaks down the complexities of the divorce as only he can. Royal excerpts from James’ responses can be found below:

12:35-13:07: Don’t compare Buddy Hield to Stephen Curry, but there is reason to be excited about the young shooting guard:

“Just take that and throw that out the window. He’s not Steph Curry. He can average 14 to 16 points per game in the pros. He can also struggle. But from what I saw of him in limited action on Thursday, [he had a] very nice teardrop in the lane, I thought he handled the ball well, he was able to take guys off the dribble, I thought his defensive prowess was better than what people have talked about, and [post-game] he even talked about not being critiqued the whole time.”

19:48-21:41Hands-on Kings owner Vivek Ranadivé was persuaded to move on from DeMarcus Cousins in a very specific way: 

“I know that he’s got his fingers in every pie in the organization. And in this situation, he was convinced to trade DeMarcus by management as it got closer and closer to the deadline. He was pretty adamant about not trading DeMarcus, and he has been [since he took over]… Continue reading

Dan Devine: Pelicans’ “Bully Ball” Could Take Toll on Warriors in Postseason (Trade Deadline Special)

Alongside new addition DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and the Pelicans hope to rise up the Western Conference standings and cause problems for the Warriors in the playoffs (Keith Allison/Creative Commons).

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Less than 24 hours before the NBA’s annual trade deadline, Yahoo! Sports NBA editor Dan Devine (Ball Don’t Lie) fits us into his busy schedule. Dan breaks down the league’s biggest trades to date (chief among them, this past weekend’s DeMarcus Cousins deal), hints at what may be on the horizon and touches upon the Clippers’ postseason prospects and two dark-horse contenders in the Rockets and Wizards. He even provides a glimpse into New Orleans cuisine. What a guy! What a show!

7:57-9:15: Dan explores how the DeMarcus Cousins acquisition will likely affect the Pelicans’ position in the race for the Western Conference’s No. 8 seed:

“Adding Boogie to the lineup, giving them that core three with Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday, gives them, from a talent perspective, maybe the best core that you can offer in that group. It’s also worth remembering that New Orleans is three games back of Denver in the loss column right now, and they’ve got to leapfrog both Portland and Sacramento…They’ve got some work to do…and they’re going to have to integrate a gigantic piece with 25 games left in the season. Continue reading

Pelicans Fly High, Knicks Knocked Down (Power Rankings: Jan. 6, 2017 Edition)

Former King Isaiah Thomas is excelling in his second season in Beantown, scoring an efficient 27.8 points per game as his Leprechauns rise up the rankings (Chrishmt0423/Creative Commons).

Life is not easy atop our power rankings. After all, the Spurs and Cavaliers each dropped a spot from the previous edition, and both look as dominant as ever. Blame the 3-point-launching Rockets, who have continued their ascent to the top of the league and now rank second. The Pelicans also impressed the panel, moving up seven spots from our previous list. On the other hand, the Knicks disappointed, falling six positions, one for each loss of their current skid.

Biggest Jumps: New Orleans Pelicans (+7), Atlanta Hawks (+4), Boston Celtics (+3), Charlotte Hornets (+3), Chicago Bulls (+3)

Biggest Falls: New York Knicks (-6), Denver Nuggets (-4), Washington Wizards (-4), Memphis Grizzlies (-4), Los Angeles Clippers (-4) Continue reading

Hawks Grounded, While Giannis and the Bucks Soar (Power Rankings: Dec. 9, 2016 Edition)

The Hawks earned a 13-spot demotion by struggling mightily after storming out of the gates with a 9-2 start (Keith Allison/Creative Commons).

Due to stellar play from the Rockets, Jazz, Thunder and Celtics, the red-hot Grizzlies actually dropped a couple slots. The panel was indeed impressed by Memphis’ ability to win five of its last six games without Mike Conley Jr. on the court; it’s just those other teams were deemed to be even better. On the other side of the coin, the Hawks have been dreadful for nearly three weeks now and are paying for it by falling precipitously in this edition. Their 13-place drop on our list may be awfully difficult for teams to “beat” in future rankings.

Biggest Jumps: Milwaukee Bucks (+8), Orlando Magic (+7), Oklahoma City Thunder (+6)

Biggest Drops: Atlanta Hawks (-13), Chicago Bulls (-10), Denver Nuggets (-9), New Orleans Pelicans (-7), Los Angeles Lakers (-7)

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Knicks, Pelicans, Grizzlies and Celtics Vault Up the List (Power Rankings: Nov. 25, 2016 Edition)

Marc Gasol and the Grizzlies are enjoying a six-game winning streak and a nine-slot jump in these power rankings below (Verse Photography/Creative Commons).

Our three panelists, Loren Lee Chen, Aaron Fischman and Joshua Fischman, independently ranked the league’s 30 teams from top to bottom. Their averaged rankings produced this 1-30 list and took into account all NBA regular-season games up until and including Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016. There were no contests on Thursday, the 24th. 

Biggest Jumps: New York Knicks (+10), New Orleans Pelicans (+10), Memphis Grizzlies (+9), Boston Celtics (+8)

Biggest Drops: Miami Heat (-7), Brooklyn Nets (-6), Portland Trail Blazers (-6), Oklahoma City Thunder (-6)

  1. Golden State Warriors (13-2, Previous Rank: 3) – The Warriors nab our top spot from the Clippers after rattling off nine straight wins, most in blowout fashion. Golden State scored 149 points in its last game, sinking the Lakers, one of only two teams that have beaten the Warriors this season, by 43. Klay Thompson has shot the lights out and averaged 27 points over the team’s past four games, and Draymond Green again looks like Defensive Player of the Year material. Continue reading

Mason Ginsberg: Pelicans “Really Need That Secondary High-Usage Player” Alongside Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis is off to a great start this season, but can the Pelicans' supporting cast help him translate that into wins? (Keith Allison/Flickr)

Anthony Davis is off to a great start this season, but can the Pelicans’ supporting cast help him translate that into wins (Keith Allison/Creative Commons)?

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As expected, three games into the 2016-17 season, Anthony Davis is putting up monster averages of 37.7 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 2.7 steals per game, including an almost unfathomable performance in the season opener where he racked up 50 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, four blocks and five steals against the Denver Nuggets. Unfortunately, for all his effort, the Pelicans still have no wins to show for it. Mason Ginsberg of ESPN Truehoop’s Bourbon Street Shots details what the Pelicans need to do over the course of this season to turn that around. Additionally, he expounds on the disappointment of last year’s injury-filled season, the many roster moves made in the offseason and need for a sense of urgency around the team.

5:12-5:26 On how Quincy Pondexter’s injury last year affected the team and his uncertain timetable to return this season:

“Quincy [Pondexter] was their only plus defender who could really stretch the floor and [needed to be] defended from the 3-point line and missing him was just huge. Again, it’d be really helpful to get him back, but no real certainty on when that’s going to happen.”

10:13-11:05 On Anthony Davis’ still developing game and the myriad of injuries he has suffered over his career:

“He’s only 23 years old still. He’s developing into more of a stronger figure. That’s going to help him play more minutes at the 5, which he vocally did not want to do at the start of his career… I think now he’s realizing that’s where the NBA game is going; he’s been playing more and more 5 every year. I’m optimistic about AD from an injury perspective. There’s been nothing that really sticks out as a major red flag… All things considered, I’d rather have him have a bunch of random injuries than keep injuring the same thing over and over again”

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Select Game Notes (Oct. 25-26)

By Joshua and Aaron Fischman:

While Embiid is still a work in progress, he dazzled Philly fans on Wednesday night with his skills and swagger.

While Embiid is still a work in progress, he dazzled Philly fans on Wednesday night with his skills and swagger (Brent Burford/Creative Commons).

A slew of noteworthy player and team performances over the past two days make it difficult to be exhaustive, so we’ll present some developments that caught our attention. By including these, we are not arguing that they are more important than those we omitted. With the disclaimer over, let the notes begin:

Two former Nets stars drank from the fountain of youth, as Deron Williams dropped 25 and dished seven for the Mavs in an overtime loss to the Pacers and Joe Johnson poured in 29 for the Jazz on Tuesday night. With Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors sidelined with injury, Johnson and his teammates George Hill and Rodney Hood combined for 51 field-goal attempts.

Joel Embiid finally played in a regular-season NBA game and he did not disappoint, posting 20 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in just 22 minutes. His rookie teammate Dario Saric just managed 2-12 from the floor. While Embiid wasn’t the most efficient himself (6-16) and appeared out of control at times, he showcased an ability to shoot the 3 and provided much-needed optimism and excitement for the 76ers fan base. Unfortunately for the home fans, the Thunder outscored the 76ers by 12 in the final period and came away with the road victory. Continue reading

Welcome Back: Season 1 Highlights, Season 2 Preview

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After 54 episodes of On the NBA Beat and an offseason hiatus, the show is back in advance of the 2016-17 campaign. In addition to briefly discussing the first three interviews of Season 2, Aaron and Loren recap the highlights of Season 1.

Among those highlights, Andy Liu’s “The Warriors Are ‘Cocky as Hell'” (Dec. 2, 2015) was the most downloaded episode of the inaugural season. Andy was one of three guests to appear multiple times last season. Lang Whitaker (Episodes 6a and 34a) and Josh Baumgard (Episodes 18a and 32a) were the others, each coming on to dispense insight during the regular season as well as the playoffs. Rounding out the podcast’s top five (determined by Podbean downloads), there was Michael Levin (31a), Frank Madden (26a), Joseph Casciaro/Ben Gibson (33a) and Holly MacKenzie (15a). When breaking it down by state, California, New York and Massachusetts led the way, while Canada, Australia and the U.K. led countries other than the United States.

Music: “Who Likes to Party?” by Kevin MacLeod

Sam Vecenie: Celtics Should’ve “Taken Kris Dunn and Continued to Negotiate With Bulls, 76ers”

The New Orleans Pelicans selected Buddy Hield with the 6th overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft. (christopherm01/Flickr)

Vecenie likes Oklahoma Sooner Buddy Hield’s potential but sees specific room for growth  with the No. 6 overall pick (christopherm01/Flickr).

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The knowledgeable and passionate Sam Vecenie of CBS Sports checks in to review the 2016 NBA Draft. He discusses the uniquely unpredictable nature of the picks, No. 1 overall selection Ben Simmons, Buddy Hield’s pairing with Anthony Davis in New Orleans, the under-appreciated Malcolm Brogdon and so much more.

6:28-7:02: “All of those players [within the four respective tiers] were essentially interchangeable. That got difficult. This draft was so unpredictable. I don’t even know how it even got to where it got to. I don’t know how we ended up with Giorgios Papagiannis going 13th overall, Thon Maker going 10th overall. There were so many surprises, even going outside of the tier ranking system. There were just so many shockers. Guershon Yabusele at 16. It was a weird night.”

9:28-10:59: “(Drafting and stashing) certainly shook up the first round in a lot of ways. The thing with all these international kids is that none of them really wanted to be stashed outside of a few of them. So, basically, the reason you saw (Guerschon) Yabusele go 16 – he’s willing to be stashed in all likelihood…The factor that all of these teams had multiple picks, and the factor that everyone kind of thinks this draft sucks in terms of domestic prospects made teams going into this uncertain free agency period want to say, ‘OK, we want to keep our rosters as clean as possible and have as few of these guys over here now as possible,’ so I think that that’s where you saw quite a few stashes come into play.”

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