Pelicans Give Up on Playoffs, Shutdown Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis exited the New Orleans Pelicans’ game on March 18th and wasn’t able to return due to a knee issue. Because or that knee issue and other ailments, the Pelicans’ star franchise player won’t be suiting up again during the 2015-16 NBA season.
Anthony Davis is out for the year.
— Scott Kushner (@ScottDKushner) March 20, 2016
Per reports, the man known as The Brow had been dealing with a torn labrum in his shoulder and with the knee injury added to a long list of ailments during a disastrous season for the Pellies, New Orleans management decided to shut their star big man down, cutting their losses.
— Jennifer Hale (@JenHale504) March 20, 2016
It’s tough to knock the Pelicans for the decision, as The Brow literally is their future. It does mean the team is mailing it in for all intents and purposes, as they’re shutting down their best player with the team still mathematically in the running for a Western Conference playoff spot.
Chasing down the 8th and final spot wasn’t a lock, however, and keeping Anthony Davis from further hurting himself wasn’t guaranteed, either. While some fans may criticize the move, it’s one that arguably probably should have been done weeks ago.
Writing on the Wall
New Orleans should have seen this coming from day one, as before the season even started, the team was dealing with a litany of injuries. At some point during what has become a completely lost season, the likes of Eric Gordon, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Omer Asik all sustained nagging injuries.
Gordon and Evans had already been shut down for the rest of the year, and with Brow dealing with a labrum issue for over a month, it was really only a matter of time for the team to throw in the towel when it came to their most prized player, as well.
This is a crushing blow for whatever odds the Pellies had of making a late playoff push, but their road woes have been awful and the injuries have become too much to overcome.
That being said, New Orleans has at least been competitive behind The Brow, Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson, recently winning a big game over the Thunder and usually doing a good job on their home floor.
From this point on, Anderson can likely find himself in a bigger role, while the team should also lean hard on Holiday for scoring. That won’t give the Pelicans a shot at the playoffs and it could make them a risky bet on a nightly basis, however.
At this point it’s all about the future, which means the Pelicans will use the rest of the year to rest a lot of their key players. There is no reason to rest Anderson, who may leave in free agency this summer. Holiday and others could eventually be shut down as well, as the Pelicans look ahead to next year.
This season was a total disaster after the Pels made the playoffs last year, but with everyone back and healthy starting next year, they could again be a sleeper pick to crack the playoffs. There has been chatter about New Orleans not being able to exceed expectations even as constructed when healthy, however, so it’s possible the team next year looks a lot different than it does now. Because of that, bettors may want to refrain from betting big on New Orleans until they know more about the state of the franchise.
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