New Orleans Pelicans: The Nuggets have depth
The Denver Nuggets are still alive for two reasons: They have the MVP in Nikola Jokic and they have depth.
The Nuggets have been able to withstand the loss of Jamal Murray because they are a deep team with a lot of options. You can’t win consistently in the NBA unless your bench has guys who can play and step in if there is an injury.
The New Orleans Pelicans had next to no depth this season, which is why their faint playoff hopes were undone when a few guys went down.
New Orleans Pelicans: The 76ers have the defense the Pels need
The Philadelphia 76ers are another team with an MVP candidate, but their success has mostly been because off their defense.
The 76ers have three elite defenders in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle to go along with veteran defenders like George Hill, Dwight Howard and Danny Green.
The New Orleans Pelicans don’t have a single elite defender and only have a couple of guys who are even considered good on that end.
If they want to climb to the top of the Western Conference, the Pels must add several guys who can defend.