New Orleans

Pelicans

Survey data collected from team site writers and editors.

5.7

Out of 10

I trust in management and the coaching staff

8.0

Out of 10

I enjoy rooting for these players and this franchise

9.7

Out of 10

I am optimistic about the direction of the team

A Q&A with Oleh Kosel of SB Nation’s Pelicans site The Bird Writes.

What needs to happen for this to be an enjoyable season for Pelicans fans?

Make the playoffs. The vast majority believes DeMarcus Cousins’ future with the Pelicans hinges on a postseason berth. Whether you're a fan of Cousins or not, the team needs to prove successful on the court to keep its good players around. If the Pelicans endure more disappointment, the dominoes will start to fall and an Anthony Davis departure before his contract is up becomes a question of when, not if.

New Orleans Pelicans
Position Starters Bench
Guards Rajon Rondo (injured) Jrue Holiday Ian Clark Jordan Crawford Frank Jackson (injured)
Wings Dante Cunningham Tony Allen E’Twaun Moore Darius Miller Solomon Hill (injured)
Bigs Anthony Davis DeMarcus Cousins Cheick Diallo Alexis Ajinca Omer Asik

What makes Pelicans fans most excited about this year? What makes Pelicans fans most nervous?

It's exciting to think the Pelicans can become trendsetters after stumbling on this current twin towers blueprint. Cousins and Davis have the potential to pull off the impossible once small-ball took off league wide: successfully weave their way into relevance by leading a team from both big man positions.

Conversely, while we have little doubt Boogie and The Brow will work, we’re uneasy about their teammates. Rajon Rondo and Jrue Holiday have a lot to prove, and the small forward position is a giant question mark.

What storyline might a national audience be missing about the Pelicans?

The offense will be better than you think. With Davis and Cousins, the Pelicans merely need to be an average three-point shooting team to win a lot of nights. There are three ways to score efficiently in today's version of the NBA, and the Pelicans have two of them on lock down: at the rim and the free-throw line.

Why should neutrals pay attention to the Pelicans this year?

They’re the best experiment in the league, trying to dominate the competition through a stifling defense, two superstars at the four and five, and a hell of an interesting mix of personalities.

What's your prediction for the season?

47-35, narrowly edging out the Portland Trail Blazers for the final West playoff spot.