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Season Review: Some Thoughts on a Broken Year


The 2013-2014 season was a tough one for the New Orleans Pelicans.

First injuries to Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis crushed any chance the team had at making a run at one of the final playoff spots in a loaded Western Conference.

Then injuries to Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon and Jason Smith made it hard to even learn much about the future of the roster and how it best fits together.

All-in-all 21 players were officially a part of the Pelicans’ roster this season, including names like Josh Childress, James Southerland and Melvin Ely.

But in all of the bad there was some good to be found.

When Davis got back on the floor during the second half of the season he looked every bit on his way to being one of the best two or three players in the league in the very near future.

The Pelicans may have found something in Luke Babbitt who made the Pelicans better on both offense and defense when he was on the floor according to 82games.com.

Anthony Morrow showed how valuable he can be, especially when he gets paired with Davis and Tyreke Evans as a deadly shooter who opens up the space that both players need to be at their most effective.

Jeff Withey showed that he has a chance to be a legitimate NBA big man, at least coming off the bench, though he struggles to rebound at the moment.

The biggest problem with this year was the uncertainty that it brings into the coming offseason.

If the Pelicans struggled but were healthy this season would have been much more useful as it would have at least given the front office a chance to observe and make decisions on how the roster fit together and if Monty Williams is the right person to lead them going forward.

Instead the Pelicans got nowhere near enough looks at the way things fit and about some of the questions that were around coming into the season, such as if Evans could play in more of an off ball role with Holiday doing much of the ball handling.

There are still some needs that New Orleans could and should look to address this offseason that will help the roster no matter what happens with the Holiday/Evans/Anderson/Davis core that they are seemingly locked into for the foreseeable future.

The Pelicans ranked 17th in the league in rebounding rate and were even worse with Davis off the floor, so some bench bigs that are quality rebounders should be a priority going forward.

New Orleans also finished last in the league in three pointers attempted per game at 15.9, just ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies who took just 13.9. That number will be helped by full seasons from Anderson and Holiday, as well as more potential minutes for Morrow next season, but in today’s NBA you can never have too much shooing and the Pelicans should embrace that fact.

Finally, the Pelicans could desperately use a few defensive minded wing players. Evans and Gordon are good offensive weapons but neither is known as a good defender and Al-Farouq Aminu’s shooting problems make it hard for him to play major minutes without the Pelicans offense feeling the effects of it.

In the end the 2013-2014 season was essentially a waste. Davis got way better and a few bench pieces may have been found but the Pelicans are not much closer now than they were at the start of the season to seeing how well put together this roster is.

We did see Anthony Davis become a superstar though. And terrifying Pierre is gone for good.

For those two things, maybe it was all worth it.

 

 

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