2017-18 New Orleans Pelicans Predictions and NBA Futures Odds Picks
Teams in the NBA have, generally, gone away from a focus on big guys clogging the paint and have focused more on speed and shooting. The New Orleans Pelicans have charted an entirely different approach. They have built around two big men, and they seem short on shooting. The advantage they have, of course, is that the big guys are two of the very best in the league. But the approach they are taking in a very tough conference certainly isn't making things easier for themselves. And this isn't a good time for this team to struggle. DeMarcus Cousins is a free agent after this year, and the team really needs to figure out if Anthony Davis can be the core of a serious contender going forward. I just find it really tough to be overly optimistic about this team,
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2017 New Orleans Pelicans Betting Storylines
There is some good news on the personnel front, as Jrue Holiday is going to be with the team right out of the gate this year. Last season he missed the first 12 games of the season as he was spending time with his newborn child and helping his wife through brain surgery. Now that he's with the team, there won't be the distraction factor of his absence, and chemistry should be stronger. With this being the first full season for Cousins with the team, that is even more important. The other side of it, though, is that even if Holiday is with the team all year, he isn't a top-level point guard, and you have to wonder if he is what this team really needs running the show. Having him all season is much better than not having him, but it's not the best solution. And there is no guarantee we'll have him all season, either - he is far from the most durable guy out there.
Speaking of durability, Anthony Davis' health is an ongoing concern. He has averaged only 67 games a season in his five years with the team, and he always seems to find bizarre ways to send himself to the sidelines. With the team built as it is, it simply can't afford to have him miss any significant time this year. He had his healthiest season last year, playing 75 games. He needs to be able to contribute at least that much again this year. He also needs to find a way to work better with Cousins than he did last year. The two are both very talented, but they just didn't have strong chemistry out of the gate after the trade, and they were not better than the sum of their parts. The offseason and training camp should help, but if they aren't significantly better then this team has no hope.
This team has a lot of issues, but one that stands out more is their coach. Let's be honest - Alvin Gentry is a bad coach. Really bad. He was bad in Miami. Bad with Detroit. Really bad with the Clippers. Bad with one outlier year with the Suns. And he has been bad in his two years in New Orleans. The fact that he continues to get jobs in the league shows just how little imagination front offices have in this league. His biggest and almost only qualification to be an NBA coach is that he has been one before. In 14 NBA seasons he has missed the playoffs nine times and been fired before season's end three other times. This is a roster that needs to be coached extremely well to have any chance of being relevant in a meaningful way. That just isn't going to happen under Gentry. His presence is the biggest single reason to be highly skeptical about this team's chances.
2017 New Orleans Pelicans Additions and Departures
So, you are concerned about having Holiday in the backcourt and what it could mean to your team. Fair enough. There are lots of good things you could have done. One of them, though, was not signing Rajon Rondo. Rondo is just a mess, and he isn't going to make any team better at this stage in his career. There will be some challenges figuring out how to use both guys, and the confusion just isn't worth it for him. Needless to say, I'm not a big fan of the addition.
Aside from Holiday there aren't a whole lot of exciting changes with this team. Ian Clark is an interesting addition not because of what he can do on the court but because he spent the last two years in Golden State so he knows more about what it takes to win than this organization does. The most significant departure was point guard Tim Frazier. It's not that he was a great player, but I'd much rather have him than Rondo.
The team didn't have their first-round pick in the draft, so the pieces they added aren't going to be significant - at least in the short term.
2017 New Orleans Pelicans Futures Odds and Trends
New Orleans Pelicans Futures Odds
NBA title odds (from BetOnline ) : +10000
Western Conference title odds (from BetOnline) : +6600
Anthony Davis MVP Odds (from Bovada ) : +1800
DeMarcus Cousins MVP Odds (from Bovada) : +4000
Season win total (from BetOnline): 40.5
The team wasn't much to bet on last year, going 39-42-1 ATS, which meant that they weren't profitable on the long term on either side. They were slightly better to bet on when it came to totals - as long as you stuck to the "under". They went under 44 times and "over" 37.
2017 New Orleans Pelicans Predictions and Futures Odds Picks
Here we have two big men who are tough to trust - not because they aren't very good players but because neither seems to find ways to maximize their impact consistently and because they have questionable chemistry. We have one point guard I like but who could be better and another who is a mess. We have the worst coach in the league and an absolutely brutal conference. I just don't see any way that this is a playoff team this year.
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Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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