Golden State Warriors: Southwest Division Preview

Oct 31, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) is guarded by Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the first half of a game at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 31, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) is guarded by Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the first half of a game at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /
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Golden State Warriors
Oct 31, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) is guarded by Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) during the first half of a game at Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

New Orleans Pelicans

2015-16 record: 30-52

In his first full-time NBA head coaching job since 2013, Alvin Gentry had to deal with a lot of D-League talent. The New Orleans Pelicans were absolutely decimated by injuries during the 2015-16 season. They were nowhere near .500 a year after making the playoffs as the eighth seed.

Only two Pelicans played at least 70 games last season: Dante Cunningham and Alonzo Gee. Superstar Anthony Davis only played 61 games. The Pelicans got so desperate that they played Kendrick Perkins in 37 games, Jimmer Fredette in 4 games, and Nate Robinson in 2 games.

The Pelicans’ bad luck hasn’t run out. Jrue Holiday is going to miss an undisclosed amount of time tending to his wife, a new mother, who is going to have brain surgery to remove a benign tumor. Tyreke Evans and Quincy Pondexter are both recovering from knee injuries.

They drafted Buddy Hield sixth overall and he could be a difference maker. Omer Asik and Terrence Jones will give Gentry the flexibility to put Davis in different spots on the floor. Everyone’s favorite enigma, Lance Stephenson, has a chance to make the team out of training camp as well.

Next: 25 Greatest Warriors Ever

New Orleans is a mess right now. They’re going to need Davis to be even more dominant than he has been over the last few years. More importantly, he needs to stay on the court. The Pelicans didn’t get much better. Don’t expect them to make much noise this year unless Hield is a legitimate star from day-one.

2016-17 Prediction: 35-47