NBA Western Power Rankings Week 6: Clippers start rising

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Dec 4, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) is defended by New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) during overtime of a game at the Smoothie King Center.The Pelicans defeated the Cavaliers 114-108 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

14th: New Orleans Pelicans (4 points)

By Jose Salviati

Record: 6-17

December record: 2-4

Is there a more disappointing NBA team in the 2015-16 season than the Pelicans? Sure, the Lakers are worse, but no one expected much from the purple and gold going into this season while the expectations for the Anthony Davis led Pelicans were high. The feeling was that new head coach Alvin Gentry’s high octane style would mesh well with a group that finished 45-37 in the tougher Western Conference last season.

So far this season the team’s offensive rating is down and their defensive rating is up when compared to last season. In other words, they have taken a step back.

Unlike the aforementioned Lakers who have little encouragement when they look at their roster, the Pelicans boast an impressive group. In addition to MVP candidate Davis, Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday and even Ish Smith are all averaging double-digits in points. They just give up too many points to remain competitive.

Through December so far, they have dealt with losses to the Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets, Jazz and a 18-point loss to the Celtics. One of their two wins, however, was an inspired 108-114 win against the Cleveland LeBrons in overtime. The hope for all Pelican fans is that the team can gain the confidence from that victory that it needs to move the standings and fulfill their potential as they entered this season.

Next: Sacramento Kings