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Anthony Davis .

Anthony Davis says the Pelicans could’ve made the finals if DeMarcus Cousins avoided injury

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Before a devastating injury put an end to his season, DeMarcus Cousins was having a historic campaign with the New Orleans Pelicans and was set to finally make his first playoff appearance.

The Pelicans occupied the sixth spot in the west and were climbing before the center suffered a torn Achilles injury which ruled him out for the rest of the year.

He was averaging 25.2 points, 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game. According to ESPN Stats & Information, over the past 50 seasons, only four players averaged those numbers for an entire campaign and all four were named MVP.

Cousins was finally letting his play on the court do the talking and was part of a winning team at long last.

He and Anthony Davis struck up a dominant partnership and were producing sensational numbers on a nightly basis.

In an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols over the All-Star weekend, Davis claimed that New Orleans would've competed for a championship if his frontcourt partner didn't suffer an injury.

Orlando Magic v New Orleans Pelicans

"We could have gone through the playoffs. No one could really stop us as bigs. We go to the Finals if we went," he said. "[Teammate Rajon Rondo] reminds us of it: 'You guys are the two best bigs. I know what it takes to win championships; we got it.'"

'Boogie' and 'The Brow' - as they're affectionately known - were on course to become the first teammates ever to each average 25 points and 10 rebounds per game.

In a league that has gone increasingly small and is being dominated by guards, Davis and Cousins bucked the trend and proved that they could succeed with more traditional, old-school basketball in the low post.

Milwaukee Bucks v New Orleans Pelicans

But with the former Sacramento Kings star out for the remainder of the season, the responsibility of leading the Pels back to the playoffs falls solely on the shoulders of AD once again.

"When he goes down, it's, all right, it goes back to AD before DeMarcus, a lot of minutes, weight of the world on your shoulders," Davis said. "You know, you gotta carry the team on your back, you gotta almost get 40 every night for us -- to give us a chance to win."

Since Cousins' injury on January 26, the 24-year-old has scored 38 or more points in five of the nine games they've played and went 4-5 over that stretch.

The Louisiana-based franchise is currently in the eighth spot in the west with a 31-26 record and are in a battle with at least four teams to secure the final postseason berths.

New Orleans v Detroit Pistons

Davis says he's looking to replicate Russell Westbrook's approach to keep his team in the playoff picture.

"You kind of have that Russell Westbrook mentality when [Kevin Durant] went out," Davis said. "Russ just went out there and played, and he shot 40 shots sometimes, you know, whatever it takes to help your team win, and I'm kind of taking that approach.

"I think it's three through 10 is all right there [in the West], so we want to make sure we're in the mix. We can't let this thing go away."

The Pelicans have 25 games left to get it done and all the pressure will be on the shoulders of their superstar power forward to ensure it happens.

Topics:
NBA
Western Conference
Anthony Davis
New Orleans Pelicans
Southwest Division

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