Evan Evaluations: A Pelican’s Race

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Pelicans

The Western Conference is still on a wavy path seeding teams for the NBA Playoffs. The New Orleans Pelicans are not only fighting for a playoff spot but also an NBA MVP trophy for Anthony Davis. Davis has proved himself as one of the top big men in the league and what better way to prove yourself as a true all-star than competing for an MVP Award. Davis dominated the month of February averaging 35 points and eleven rebounds joining Moses Malone as the only players to average at least 35 points and ten rebounds in a month. The New Orleans Pelicans have a lot to play for the rest of the season.

Evan’s Top 2 Games Of The Week:

  • New Orlean Pelicans (39-28) @ San Antonio Spurs (38-30)
    • 8:30 P.M. ET- Thursday, March 15th, 2018
  • Los Angeles Clippers (49-14) @ Oklahoma City Thunder (38-26)
    • 8:00 P.M. ET- Friday, March 16th, 2018

Weekend Game:

  • Oklahoma City Thunder (38-26) @ Toronto Raptors (50-17)
    • 1:00 P.M. ET- Sunday, March 18th, 2018

The Eval

New Orleans Pelicans @ San Antonio Spurs

New Orleans Pelicans:

The Pelicans have been playing with a chip on their backs. Coming off a close win against the Charlotte Hornets, 119-115, I’m excited about Anthony Davis and the Pelicans fighting for that high playoff seed in the West. Anthony Davis has been putting up MVP numbers and leading his team without teammate DeMarcus Cousins. With the addition of a healthy backcourt of Rajon Rondo, averaging 7.8 assists per game, and Jrue Holiday, 5.8 assists per game, they are able to help set Davis up for lobs and post entries. What makes this game interesting is that a win for the Pelicans would move them up above the Oklahoma City Thunder in the West.

Anthony Davis
(Photo: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports)

Anthony Davis

PPG: 28.1, RPG: 11.1, APG: 2.4, FG%: 53.4%, FT%: 82.9%

Jrue Holiday

PPG: 19.3, APG: 5.8, RPG: 4.4, SPG: 1.4, FG%: 49%

San Antonio Spurs:

The Spurs are battling for their season at this point and it’s not looking too good. They are sitting in a tight position just one spot out of the Western Conference Playoffs behind the Utah Jazz and L.A. Clippers. The Spurs are in a crucial spot in the West and can’t afford to lose much more games. It still does not help the fact that Kawhi Leonard was expected to be in the lineup against the Pelicans, but then declared out continuing to evaluate his quad injury.  What I am excited about is the passing and court vision from Tony Parker to find teammates like LaMarcus Aldridge and Rudy Gay for shots. Pau Gasol has contributed on the inside and hopefully will be a strong body down their against Davis. A win would help move the Spurs up into the playoffs if either the Utah Jazz or L.A. Clippers lose their games.

LaMarcus Aldridge

PPG: 22.2, RPG: 8.3, APG: 2.0, FG%: 50%, FT%: 82.7%

Tony Parker

PPG: 8.9, RPG: 1.9, APG: 3.9, FG%: 49.1, FT%: 71%

Prediction: New Orlean Pelicans 125-117

 

Los Angeles Clippers @ Oklahoma City Thunder

Los Angeles Clippers: The Los Angeles Clippers are in the same boat as the Spurs. Sitting tied for 7th in the West with the Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs, the Clippers are crucial for a win and a win against the 4th seed Oklahoma City Thunder would give them momentum. I’m excited about DeAndre Jordan on the inside getting rebounds and dunks. His aggressiveness gets him those rebounds with Lou Williams to dish it out to on the perimeter. Williams was snubbed earlier in the year from the All-Star Game and has been playing tough basketball since. A win for the Clippers would keep their playoff hopes alive and put them 1 game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder.

DeAndre Jordan

PPG: 12.2, RPG: 15.3, APG: 1.4, BPG: 1, FG%: 64.9

Lou Williams

PPG: 23.1, RPG: 2.6, APG: 5.4, 3P%: 36.4, FT%: 87.5

Oklahoma City Thunder: 

The Oklahoma City Thunder are on a 4-game winning streak. Russell Westbrook has just recorded his 100th triple-double of his career last game against the Atlanta Hawks. I’m excited to see this athletic point guard take on the Clippers with his ability to get to the rim with explosiveness, along with frontcourt help from big man Steven Adams. Carmelo Anthony has shot the ball well and has helped with rebounding. A win for the Thunder would help their way up to the 3rd seed in the West right behind Portland Trail Blazers.

Pelicans
Photo via: Kim Klement/ USA TODAY Sports)

Russell Westbrook

PPG: 25.3, APG: 10.2, RPG: 9.6, SPG: 1.8, FT%: 73.5

Carmelo Anthony:

PPG: 16.8, RPG: 5.9, APG: 1.3, FG%: 40.8, 3P%: 36.1

Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder 112-105

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