Month: January 2019

Pelicans Beat Rockets Without Multiple Starters

In what was expected to be an easy win for the Houston Rockets, the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Rockets 121-116, even without 4 of their 5 starters. Anthony Davis, Julius Randle, E’Twuan Moore, and Elfrid Payton were all out due to injuries. Key bench player Nikola Mirotic was also ruled out.

The Pelicans were definitely not expected to win this contest. Frank Jackson made his first career start, and the Rockets had both Chris Paul and James Harden healthy. Even without 5 of their top-7 players, the Pelicans were able to hold off the potent offensive attack of Harden and the Rockets. Although Harden scored 37 points, a lot of those points came in the fourth quarter when the Pelicans had strong control of the game.

Jrue Holiday showed why he should be an All-Star this season, as he became the first guard in the history of the NBA to record at least 17 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, and 6 blocks. Jahlil Okafor led the Pelicans in scoring with 27 points, while also recording 12 rebounds. Okafor has been fantastic the last 5 games, recording 4 double-doubles and scoring over 15 points in each of the contests. He’s also averaging 2.6 blocks per game over this 5 game span. Many other players stepped up as well, as 6 total Pelicans scored in the double-digits.

The Pelicans played some great defense against one of the better teams in the league. It was a great win tonight, mainly to prove to the league that New Orleans is more than Anthony Davis, something fans truly needed after Davis’ trade request earlier this week. While it is still unforeseen what the future holds for New Orleans, if the Pelicans play like a team and work together like they did against the Rockets, they may be better than everyone expects.

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Potential Trade Destinations for Anthony Davis

It is sad I even have to write this article. The Brow has requested a trade from the Pelicans, leaving Pelicans fans hopeless for the future. However, it’s possible to look forward. AD already stated he wants to be on a team that can offer him a chance to win a championship, meaning the Pelicans may have slim pickings if they want to please Davis. Although no team can really give a trade package that would immediately constitute Davis, some teams can offer some young players with great potential. Thanks to NBA Trade Machine, fans have a way to work out potential trades based on NBA rules and teams’ salary caps. Here are some trades that Dell Demps and the Pelicans front office could consider:

Los Angeles Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers, thanks to LeBron James and their plentiful young talent, are the favorites to land AD. They have numerous young pieces that they could give the Pelicans and draft picks to go along with those players. The Pelicans would surely demand at least 3 out of the 5 of Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma, and Ivica Zubac. The Pelicans would also probably want some draft picks to secure some future talent. The only problem is that all these young players have small contracts, meaning the Lakers would have to trade an older player making more money. Although the Lakers would like to keep Kuzma on the roster considering his great talent, it would be hard to resist Anthony Davis if it means parting with him. Here are two trades that could give the Pelicans a nice, young core and stay within the salary restrictions.

Lakers receive: Anthony Davis

Pelicans receive:  Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and a 1st and 2nd round pick.

OR

Lakers receive: Anthony Davis

Pelicans receive: Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Lance Stephenson, Ivica Zubac, and a draft pick.

Boston Celtics

The team that could arguably give the Pelicans the best return, the Boston Celtics are another favorite to land Davis. Although due to the “rose rule” restricting the Celtics from trading for Davis this season, they could wait until July 1st to get the trade done. The Celtics have great pieces in place to win a championship now, but they would have to lose some of these pieces in order to acquire AD. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are two of the best young players in the league, but Boston would have to part with one if not both of these talents to get Davis. New Orleans could land both young pieces and another solid player in Gordon Hayward in exchange for their superstar.

Celtics receive: Anthony Davis and Solomon Hill

Pelicans receive: Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and multiple draft assets.

The Longshot: Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers and their Big 3 of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Jimmy Butler have shown they are in win-now mode. They were willing to part with Robert Covington, a longtime 76er, and Dario Saric, a young and promising big man, to acquire Butler. Philly believes they are indeed in contention for a championship, and Anthony Davis may be the missing piece. The only problem is, Philly would have to trade one of the Big 3 to get Davis. They do not have any assets besides those players, and they wouldn’t have enough cap space for all 4. Joel Embiid is untouchable, and Jimmy Butler is brand new to town. The move that would make the most sense if they genuinely want Davis would be to send Ben Simmons back to Louisiana, where he attended college. Although it is not a favorite target, if Philly truly trusts “the Process”, an Embiid-Davis pairing would be one of the best pairings ever.

76ers receive: Anthony Davis

Pelicans receive: Ben Simmons, Wilson Chandler, Markelle Fultz, and 2021 Miami Heat 1st round pick.

The Underdogs: Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks

The Toronto Raptors have been a solid team for multiple years now. They haven’t missed the playoffs since 2013. Yet somehow, they always seem to be missing something. This past offseason they traded for Kawhi Leonard, hoping he could push them over the hump. So far they have been playing fantastic, but securing Anthony Davis might make them too good to stop. While they lack big-name assets, they still have players to offer that New Orleans could consider.

Raptors receive: Anthony Davis

Pelicans receive: Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, and Jonas Valanciunas

Milwaukee is the best team in the East right now in large part to their star Giannis Antetokounmpo. They are a top-2 team on both sides of the ball in the entire league. They also are great at 3-point shooting, rebounding, and are top-5 in assists. Basically, the Milwaukee Bucks are nearly unstoppable right now. Pairing Anthony Davis and Giannis, who actually have similar stats, build, and age, might put them over the top and bring a championship to Milwaukee. While they would have to trade key pieces to their offense, it would be hard to stop the slashing of Giannis along with the paint-dominance of AD.

Bucks receive: Anthony Davis

Pelicans receive Eric Bledsoe, Khris Middleton, Thon Maker, and a protected 1st round pick.

 

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NFL Claims that Commissioner Roger Goodell cannot call for a Saints vs Rams Replay

On Sunday, January 27, the NFL claimed in a court filing that commissioner Roger Goodell does not have the authoritative power to demand a replay of last week’s NFC Championship matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints. The court filing also made it clear that all decisions made by referees are final.

The NFL issued this filing as a response to two individual lawsuits on behalf of Saints’ season ticket holders and the entire Who Dat Nation.

These lawsuits arose after fans of the Saints and football itself were appalled by the infamous non-call which eventually led to a Rams’ victory and a Super Bowl berth.

Following the heartbreaking loss, a report surfaced from the NFL rulebook saying that Goodell has the authority to take corrective action if a “calamity” occurs that is so “extraordinarily unfair or outside the accepted tactics in professional football”.

Despite this rule, the league determined in their filing that the non-call, which may have cost the Saints the game, does not fall into this category. The filing says that no game in NFL history has ever been replayed.

The filing also claims that replaying the NFC Championship game would open up the door in the future for similar lawsuits to be filed if fans are disgruntled over a referee’s call or lack thereof.

In a previous response filed on Friday, January 25, the NFL claimed that replaying the NFC Championship would generate an expensive delay in regards to the Super Bowl which is scheduled for February 3 and is to be played between the Rams and the New England Patriots.

The NFL seemingly will not budge in favor of the Who Dat Nation in this particular case. Fans and players alike will likely be hoping for a rule change to be implemented during the offseason so that no team or fan base should ever have to deal with such an issue in the future.

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Where Will Anthony Davis Land

The New Orleans Pelicans franchise player Anthony Davis has requested a trade according to early reports this morning. Pelicans have a record of 22-28 and are 13.5 games back in the west. Davis said that he wants to go to a contender that can provide him a chance of winning a title.

Teams that could be in the mix and possible destinations for Davis’s service could include Boston Celtics,  Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors, and many other teams that are in the playoff hunt could be vying for the young superstar’s service. It would be in the best interest for the Pelicans to move him now while contending teams will most likely offer the max for AD’s services.

The future of the Pelicans is about to change, and hopefully, it will be for great composition but only time will tell how and what the Pelicans will receive. This is not the first time this has happened to the team down on the bayou as the New Orleans Hornets traded away point guard Chris Paul back in 2011.

The deal ultimately led to the Pelicans landing Anthony Davis after it was all said and done, but what is to say this won’t happen for a third time? Landing a superstar is tough, but keeping one appears to be more stringent in New Orleans.

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Anthony Davis Requests Trade

The day a Pelicans fan wished would never come is here. Anthony Davis, one of the greatest players of the current generation, has requested a trade from the New Orleans Pelicans.

In the early morning of January 28th, Twitter went nuts as Davis’ agent Rich Paul reported Davis “will not be signing a contract extension if or when presented and is requesting a trade.” Although many saw it coming, it hurts just the same. Davis is a phenomenal player, averaging 29.3 points per game, 13.3 rebounds, and a career-high 4.4 assists this season. Davis is a true all-around superstar, being a top-5 player on both sides of the ball for many years. Unfortunately for New Orleans, Davis wants to be in a position where he can win more games and compete for a championship.

Its no surprise Davis wants out. A superstar wants to show off his talent, and that’s hard for him to do when he’s always on a team with a losing record. The next step is to see when and where Anthony Davis gets traded to. Although most expect the trade to happen in the offseason, there is still over two weeks until the NBA Trade Deadline. A trade could happen this season, leaving fans wondering who the Pels might get in return.

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