NBA Western Power Rankings Week 8: Clippers hang onto 4th

3 of 16

Dec 23, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry and forward Anthony Davis (23) during the second half of a game against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Smoothie King Center. The Pelicans defeated the Trail Blazers 115-89. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

14th: New Orleans Pelicans (6 points)

By Jose Salviati

Record: 9-19

Last 10 games: 5-5

What happened to the Pelicans? This was a team that came into the 2015-16 season as a favorite to compete in the tough Western Conference. Instead they have consistently displayed a lack of passion and worse a lack of defense. Alvin Gentry was supposed to bring an up tempo style of play to this team that had an MVP candidate in Anthony Davis and a team of solid players. This week was a good microcosm of the season thus far for the Pels.

New Orleans had four beatable teams on their schedule this past week with games against the Portland Trailblazers, Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns and Denver Nuggets. While all games were on the road this should not have been a road trip that struck fear into anyone in a Pelican jersey. They went 2-2 with wins over the Jazz and Nuggets. With an opportunity to beat four beatable teams on the road and move their season in the right direction – they split and are left to wallow in the mire with Lakers.

Things certainly look better in the long term for the Pelicans than the Lakers, but while the Lakers ranking was expected the Pelicans were never supposed to be this low in the rankings this long into the season.

Next: Portland Trail Blazers