Can New Orleans Pelicans win without Anthony Davis?

New Orleans Pelicans Alvin Gentry (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
New Orleans Pelicans Alvin Gentry (Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis will miss approximately 1-2 weeks after straining his index finger in a loss to the Portland Trailblazers.

The New Orleans Pelicans are at a crossroads in their season. Currently sitting at 22-25 on the season, they are 12th in the Western Conference standings. Most seasons, this would seem like a lost season this close to the All-Star break. However, the Pelicans remain only four games out of the 6th seed in the West.

While the team cannot afford to lose anymore ground in the race to make the playoffs, doing so seems inevitable without Davis. The team is 2-4 this season when AD does not play. That number seemingly will grow as the Pelicans play six of their next seven games against teams currently in the playoff race. Is all hope lost?

Losing an all world talent like Davis will definitely affect any team. However, slightly changing some philosophies, especially on offense may at least help the Pelicans remain competitive in a few ballgames. The Pelicans actually play faster without Davis on the court. Unfortunately they do not play more effectively.

With Davis in the lineup, the Pelicans average 113.5 points per 100 possessions (good enough for fourth best in the NBA). Without Davis, this number drops nearly five full points to 108.8 points per 100 possessions. This would drop the Pelicans all the way to 17th in the league.

Coach Gentry may have to strategically slow the pace down at times, utilizing the clock, trying to get a quality shot. This not only will help on the offensive end, but especially on the defensive end. The Pelicans give up the 19th most points in the paint with AD in the lineup. You can only imagine what that number looks like without him.

Jahlil Okafor is coming off his best game in years as he recorded a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Don’t expect too many nights like that, but Okafor has proven he can score in certain situations. He and Julius Randle will need to assert themselves in the paint in order for the Pelicans to find success in this upcoming stretch.

If they are able to control the paint, this can lead to some open shots for Nikola Mirotic and E’Twaun Moore. It will be imperative that these two especially hit open shots when given the chance. This will allow the defense to soften in the middle so the bigs have more room to operate.

light. Related Story. Anthony Davis holding up his end of the deal

The New Orleans Pelicans finally return home as they entertain the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night. The Pelicans need to boost the winning streak to two before the gauntlet of playoff potential teams head their way.