Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans entered the 2018-19 season with real expectations and it is easy to see why. After all, Alvin Gentry’s club employs one of the game’s best players in the midst of his prime and strong supporting pieces like Jrue Holiday, Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle. However, not everyone was buying the Pelicans at the outset of the season, with some expressing skepticism on the heels of DeMarcus Cousins’ exit and others echoing familiar sentiment with regard to a lack of quality wing depth in New Orleans.
With that said, things are off to a (very) strong start for the Pelicans and the league is taking notice. New Orleans bludgeoned Houston to open the season and, while the Rockets took more criticism than anything, it takes two to tango, and the Pelicans were fantastic in the opener. From there, Davis and company took care of business in putting up 149 (!) points in a comfortable win over Sacramento and, after exactly one week of play, the Pelicans have a spotless record and a rising tide in the national conversation.
Is it (way) too early for proclamations? Absolutely. With that said, the Pelicans have picked up where they left off in May with a fast pace and high-end offense, integrating Mirotic and Randle into the festivities and relying on the impressive contributions of Davis and Holiday. It would be quite aggressive to suggest that the Pelicans are capable of a jump into the upper-upper tier of the West but, for some, whispers that New Orleans could slip out of the playoffs may be quieted after a two-game sample of a certain quality.
Where do the Pelicans stack up in this week’s edition of our power rankings? Let’s find out.