NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Just hours away from their season opening game against the defending NBA champion Warriors, the Pelicans don't seem overly worried about injury issues, and neither should you, at least right now.
Yes, several of their first ten games will be an uphill battle. They draw Golden State, Dallas and Atlanta twice each within the first three weeks of the season, but this isn't the same team that started 2014 still searching for a winning formula. It wasn't until late January last season that the Pelicans strung three or more wins together. After that, they did it four times and closed the final 11 games with an 8-3 record, including a benchmark win over the Spurs to seal the final playoff seed.
That's one of the benefits of keeping this year's roster primarily the same. This team figured something out toward the end of their run in April, and you have to believe it will transfer into this season as well, even if it's not immediately while a few key players return to health, and others, who are on the floor, adjust to new head coach Alvin Gentry's offense, which from what we can tell, is a very fun-to-watch system that the players enjoy learning as well.
Above all, don't underestimate the growing star-power that is Anthony Davis. He's drawn nothing but praise from coach Gentry as an unselfish player who's all about the team and winning. It's getting harder by the week to find a part of his game that's lacking, and with his improving outside jumper and ability to knock down the three, he may become even more of a closer.
Like every team, the Pelicans aren't without flaw, but even with the injury bug, they're far from being in a "bad" position. It's an 82-game season, and blessed with a human highlight reel like Anthony Davis, New Orleans should be cheering hard for every single one.