2015 New Orleans Pelicans Season Preview
The New Orleans Pelicans reached the NBA playoffs for the first time since 2011, and put together one of the most exciting young teams in the NBA. The 2015-16 New Orleans Pelicans roster will look much the same as a year ago. Anthony Davis has evolved into a legitimate superstar in the NBA and will be the focus for the Pelicans on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. The Pelicans were able to retain both Davis and Eric Gordon in the offseason, and also added reserve point guard Ish Smith, who will help distribute the ball to scorers like Gordon, Tyreke Evans, and Dante Cunningham. While Davis has emerged as a top tier talent in New Orleans, the question remains if there are enough pieces around him for the Pelicans to contend in 2015-16. Look for the New Orleans Pelicans to be a tough draw again in the Western Conference this season.
2014 New Orleans Pelicans Season Preview
The New Orleans Pelicans came into the 2013-14 NBA season with many expectations. Anthony Davis was coming off of a strong rookie season in New Orleans and was primed to take the next step into NBA superstardom. Davis lived up to expectations, averaging a double double, but the New Orleans Pelicans were just a little too young to make their way into the NBA Western Conference playoffs. The hype around Anthony Davis has only grown in 2014-15 and he has cemented himself as the Pelicans superstar for the foreseeable future. Looking at the New Orleans Pelicans 2014-15 schedule, the trouble for the Pelicans is the crowded Western Conference that they play in. Davis will have talent around him in New Orleans in Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, and newcomer Omer Asik but will clearly be the focus of the team’s offensive and defensive efforts. Look for the New Orleans Pelicans to improve from last season, finish the season with more than 40 wins, and be in the hunt for the NBA playoffs late in the season.
2013 New Orleans Pelicans Season Preview
The Hornets-turned-Pelicans have a new name this season, but will it come with new results? Anthony Davis got some big-time help in the offseason in the form of Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday in hopes that it will. The Hornets won only 27 games in the 2012-13 Season and were rewarded by grabbing Nerlen Noels and quickly dealing him and next year’s 1st –round pick to the Sixers for Holiday. The Pelicans should be an exciting team to watch and can make the postseason if they can remain relatively healthy.
New Orleans will open up the season in Orlando on Nov. 1 before returning to the Crescent City to play Charlotte the next night. Other key home games will be vs. Oklahoma City on Dec. 6, vs. San Antonio on Jan. 13 and vs. Chicago on Feb. 1.
2012 New Orleans Pelicans Season Preview
With the departure of their star player, Chris Paul, before the start of the 2011-12 season, the New Orleans Hornets couldn't seem to overcome the loss of the talented point guard. While the team's roster had a few bright spots throughout the season, the Hornets limped to a 21-45 record and 15th in the Western Conference. Fortunately, the Hornets experienced a stroke of good luck in the NBA draft lottery and scored the top pick, selecting forward Anthony Davis from Kentucky. The team has also extensively reworked their roster in the offseason to put together a mixture of young talent and savvy veterans to compete in a highly competitive Western Conference.
The Hornets roster experienced a series of changes during the offseason, as the team looked to shed big men like Emeka Okafor, Chris Kaman and Carl Landry. The team's leading scorer from a year ago, point guard Jarrett Jack, signed with the Golden State Warriors and the position looks to be one of their biggest question marks heading into the season. The team did draft the talented Austin Rivers with their second first round pick this year, but the Hornets may try to bring him along slowly and allow starter Greivis Vasquez to maintain his steadying influence over the offense.
The Hornets received a very talented guard from the Clippers in Eric Gordon when they made the trade for Chris Paul, but he was only able to see action in nine games during the 2011-12 season. With his return, and new additions like forward Ryan Anderson from the Magic and center Robin Lopez, who the team traded for during the offseason, the Hornets seem to be in good shape. Starting forward Al-Farouq Aminu is incredibly underrated in league circles and has proven to be a strong presence in the paint. Ultimately the question for any contending team is its depth situation, and the Hornets' bench may have a few surprises in store. Forward Darius Miller and guard Riley Mason Jr. should see increased playing time and provide a needed spark off the bench.
For a team that looks to be in the first year of a major rebuilding project, the Hornets have a surprising amount of talent that could come together quite nicely. With a mixture of high-end draft picks, new faces in search of a fresh start and a few proven veterans, the Hornets may have the mix of talent and experience to make some serious strides during the 2012-13 season.
2011 New Orleans Pelicans Season Preview
With the Chris Paul situation behind them, the New Orleans Hornets can now focus on playing the basketball their bounty has given them. Shooting guard Eric Gordon might be the best piece the Hornets picked up in the deal, and his ceiling’s high. Chris Kaman is a former All-Star who can definitely defend and score, and Al-Farouq Aminu is a forward who is starting to blossom into a high-line defender and scorer.
2010 New Orleans Pelicans Season Preview
The New Orleans Hornets disappointed some fans last season when they failed to qualify for the postseason. After their star point guard Chris Paul flirted with trade talks during the offseason, the front office made some moves to surround him with talent. Now, the Hornets should have enough depth and star power to carry them to the playoffs, but how far they go remains to be seen.
The biggest issue with the Hornets last season was that Paul was gone for nearly half the year due to an injured knee. With Paul healthy and the addition of forward Trevor Ariza, who is coming off the best season of his career, New Orleans has a solid offense. The team's leading scorer from a year ago, David West, is also returning.
New Orleans will have to improve on defense, however, as they ranked 21 in the NBA in points allowed. Former NCAA Player of the Year Emeka Okafor was brought in to stabilize the frontcourt, but was somewhat disappointing. If he can prove to be a stable player down low, the defense should get better. Peja Stojakovic needs to improve as well, as the 6-foot-10 forward was underwhelming.
2009 New Orleans Pelicans Season Preview
The New Orleans Hornets head into the 2009-2010 NBA season with big expectations in the Big Easy. The Hornets slipped a bit last year, so Head Coach Byron Scott will be hoping to return to their top form from the 2007-2008 season. Scott has all-star point guard Chris Paul back to lead the talent New Orleans roster. Paul, Peja Stojakovic, David West and new acquisition Emeka Okafor will look to put the Hornets back on top of the SW Division of the Western Conference.
2008 New Orleans Pelicans Season Preview
The New Orleans Hornets are a team to beat in the Eastern Conference of the NBA this season. With star scorer Peja Stojakovich back, and sporting the NBA's finest point guard in Chris Paul, the Hornets will give the big teams in the West a tough fight come playoff time this year. Watch a Hornets game at New Orleans Arena and you’ll see a physical team rebuilding itself to past glory in a city celebrated for doing the same.