NBA Western Power Rankings Week 5: Thunder thrive, Grizzlies rise

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Nov 25, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) reacts against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Pelicans defeated the Suns 120-114. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

14th: New Orleans Pelicans (6 points)

By Tom West

Record: 4-14

Record last week: 1-2

This season has been nothing but disappointment for the Pelicans so far. They’ve been hit by the injury bug over the first few weeks, they still don’t have Tyreke Evans, and Jrue Holiday’s minutes are still being heavily restricted. None of this has made things easy for the Pelicans, although that still doesn’t excuse them from some of their poor play and terrible defense.

If you have Anthony Davis on your roster, you simply can’t allow the 6th highest shooting percentage (60) from within five feet of the basket. He needs to be utilized properly and he doesn’t need much help around him to be able to hold down the paint. Under new head coach Alvin Gentry, though, nothing has clicked for the Pelicans so far. They even rank dead last in the NBA in defensive efficiency. Seeing as that makes them worse on defense than the Lakers and hopeless Houston Rockets, that’s seriously worrying. Again, it’s even worse when they have Davis at their disposal.

On offense, Eric Gordon has been producing with 17.8 points, but he’s only shooting 39.8 percent. Holiday has also been shooting just shy of 40 percent, meaning most of their impact has come from their frontcourt duo of Davis and Ryan Anderson off the bench. They’re combining for 42 points per game, with Anderson averaging 18.1 (an increase of 4.4 from last season) and shooting 38.3 percent from three point range. So, while their season has been poor, at least they have a couple of players producing. That’s something fans can be positive about at least.

Next: Denver Nuggets