NBA Preview: New faces give Pelicans reasons for hope
Added firepower Holiday and Evans should make Pelicans exciting, improved.
By SAM AMICO FS Ohio
Editor’s note: This is the fifth of Sam Amico’s look at all 30 NBA teams heading into the 2013-14 season.
Meet the Pelicans
You know it’s a good summer when you steal an All-Star point guard for a guy with a bum knee who’s never played an NBA game.
So, yes, there’s more to like about New Orleans’ pro basketball team than their new nickname.
Actually, you may not care for the “Pelicans” moniker -- but that’s actually beside the point. What matters most is the guy wearing the uniforms. And the Pelicans got another good one when they traded the No. 6 overall draft pick to
Holiday was a first-time All-Star for the
76ers last season, and just turned 23 over the summer. (The
Sixers received ex-Kentucky center
Nerlens Noel in return.)
So add the talented Holiday to a starting lineup that includes promising big man Anthony Davis and shooting guard
Eric Gordon (if he ever gets healthy), and the Pelicans could have their Big Three of the Future.
As for the here and now, well, it’s not too shabby, either.
After all, the Pelicans don’t end with Davis, Holiday and Gordon. Newcomer
Tyreke Evans, who arrives from Sacramento, is a dynamic scorer who can handle the ball and will slide right in to the small forward spot.
Also, sharpshooting power forward Ryan Anderson returns to again put in his bid for the league’s Sixth Man of the Year award.
Finally, let’s not forget underrated coach Monty Williams. It’ll be interesting to see how he fares not that he finally has a cast with which to direct.
Suddenly, the Pelicans are truly worthy of our attention. And not just because we’re calling them something new.
New faces: Evans, Holiday, Morrow, Stiemsma, Withey.
Outlook: While there’s plenty to be excited, the Pelicans are still fairly inexperienced. They’re not especially deep (although not awful in that department), and there’s no proof they have a legit starting center. So it will likely take some time. That’s not such a bad thing, though. Not when you’re off to a good start.