NBA

New Orleans Pelicans looking good with Anthony Davis and Omer Asik

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Their name isn't intimidating, that's for sure.

But the New Orleans Pelicans might just be a team that will push a few others around this season.

It all starts with Anthony Davis, and the man best known for his unibrow started the season off in style on Tuesday night with 26 points, 17 rebounds and nine blocks in a win over the Orlando Magic.

Last year, the team went 34-48 with Davis scoring 20.8 points and grabbing 10 rebounds a game.

This year, his numbers should grow, and so did the Pelicans' frontcourt with the addition of 7-footer Omer Asik.

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Who else do they have?

The Pelicans look like a good team overall. Forward Ryan Anderson continues to produce and started the season with 22 points and nine rebounds off the bench in 22 minutes.

Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon and Austin Rivers lead a rotation that looks oddly good.

How good are they?

The team looked good enough to have NOLA.com asking if Asik was the team's missing piece.

Heck, they even have Jimmer Fredette on the roster, though I can't imagine he is expected to contribute. The importance of Asik is not that he's one of the NBA's greatest current players. He's not, Davis is.

And Asik will take pressure off Davis down low. He'll help the Pelicans become a rebounding force, he'll tackle some of the tough inside defensive assignments to keep Davis from having to be that guy, and he'll give the team another inside offensive threat that defenses have to think about.

'He’s (Asik) a load in that paint with his big body and with me able to move around to follow up and get rebounds, it’s a good combination,'' Davis told NOLA.com. ''We just try to play off one another.''

Then what's the problem?

The biggest issue is how loaded the Western Conference can look. The Spurs, Rockets and Mavericks are contenders in the Southwest Division with the Thunder, Warriors and Clippers to think about.

In the Eastern Conference, the Pelicans would be a top 5 team. In the West, they might not be but they should be a strong playoff contender.

Topics:
New Orleans Hornets
NBA
Western Conference

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