Los Angeles Clippers vs. New Orleans Pelicans
12:30 p.m. PST
March 22, 2015
FOX Prime Ticket
Video of the Day
When Pelicans attack.
1. If New Orleans make the playoffs, should Anthony Davis win MVP?
J.D. Evans: Yes. There is no valid argument against it. But he should also win MVP even if they don’t make it. Harden seems to be the favorite right now, and I really don’t want that kind of thing to get rewarded. Davis has better stats in almost every category, and of almost every kind, from the softest eye-test to the hardest, most advanced metrics. Of course he won’t win it either way, because that’s not how people award trophies. Those of us who live in fear of flopping becoming the way the win hardware will put our hopes in Curry’s best-player-on-the-best-team campaign.
Brandon Tomyoy, (@dingyu): Read Tom Haberstroh’s article from earlier this week and he points out how integral Anthony Davis has been to the Pelicans in late-game situations. Add to this his off-the-charts Player Efficiency Rating, and he certainly stands out despite the Pelicans’ record. Sure, these are all offensive-minded statistics, but considering how little the MVP award has considers a player’s contributions on the defensive end, that only helps to throw out New Orleans’ 25th ranked defensive rating.
Roscoe Whalan, (@RoscoeWhalan7): Playoffs or not he deserves consideration. Davis putting up numbers that are out of this world and doing things that we haven’t seen in a while. That being said, the trophy still probably belongs to either Curry or Harden, who’ve led their teams to not only good seasons but incredible seasons and have been in the league long enough to have established a narrative around why they should win it.
2. Wait a second, will they make the playoffs?
Evans: I hope so. They have six “really should win that one” games left; the Thunder have four, a two game lead, and only one player. So NOP have a chance. Davis vs one-man-team-Westbrook, though? Can I push?
Tomyoy: The Pelicans are looking at 9 of their remaining 13 games against Western Conference teams that are almost certain to make the playoffs, and asking them to run that gauntlet and make up a two game deficit in the standings to reach that eighth seed might just be asking too much. The picture looks even cloudier if Anthony Davis current ankle issues keep him sidelined for an extended amount of time. All in all, it’s looking more likely that the Thunder will claiming that last seed.
Whalan: Nope. Robot Russell and the Oklahoma City Thunder will hold on. The Pelicans are closer to the 10th than the 8th seed right now and have a tough road ahead playing six Western Conference contenders in their last 12 games (including two match-ups against Houston). That being said, the last few weeks can be a crap-shoot with tanking and resting. So, who knows?
3. True or False: Chris Paul is playing the best basketball of his career.
Evans: False, which is no knock on Paul. He’s been great since Griffin went out, and looks much more like he did with those old Hornet teams. But I’m not sure you can say he’s better now than he was then; knee injuries do that to basketball players. CP3’s current brain on CP3’s youthful legs sure would have been something, though.
Tomyoy: It’s going to be difficult for him to beat that 2008-2009 season of his in terms of individual accomplishment, but the way he’s been playing since Blake’s injury and even now in BG’s return has been pretty close to that. If that continues out for the rest of the season, it’s hard to argue that he isn’t playing the best basketball of his career. It also leads to the question of how much longer this idea that other Point Guards have somehow usurped Chris Paul can be perpetuated.
Whalan: Tough to outplay himself from 2008-09, as Mr Tomyoy said. However, his current play his out of this world. He held the team together without Griffin and has continued his unstoppable form as of late. He’s definitely still the best point guard in the league despite Westbrook’s heroics and Chef Curry’s impressive form. It might not be the best form of his entire career but it’s pretty damn close.