The season tip-off is getting closer by the day, hour, minute, second, etc. Training camps are underway; pre-season is starting, for some sides, this coming weekend. Yet, it still seems to be so far away, giving more time for speculation, discussion, debates, and, of course, bold predictions.
First bold prediction is that the New Orleans Pelicans will get the 6th seed in the Western Conference, ranking behind, in no order, the San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles Clippers, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder. Many do believe the Pelicans will be fighting for the playoffs, but have them falling short of the aforementioned five, but also behind the Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies, alongside the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns.
Not me. The addition of Omer Asik is huge, but let us not also ignores the fact that the Pelicans were without Eric Gordon and Jrue Holiday, their starting guard duo, for the majority of the season. Gordon missed 18 games, Holiday missed 48 matches. Injuries also cost Anthony Davis 15 games, Tyreke Evans 10 games, and kept Ryan Anderson from 60.
Toss that in, with an additional training camp together and FIBA experience for Anthony Davis, and you have a recipe that is ready to explode, and surprise many teams.