Tag Archives: New Orleans Pelicans

Leaders of the New School

 

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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA Today Sports

 

Just days away from the start of the 2014 FIBA World Basketball Championships, the final 12 man roster has been set for Team USA as they prepare for group play. With the injury to Paul George and withdraws of Kevin Love and Kevin Durant, coach Mike Krzyzewski and Team USA have new hurdles to overcome and holes to fill in very little time. The talent of the aforementioned players cannot be replaced, but depth and versatility will be the theme for this American team. There are four players who will need to step into a larger role in order to complete the task at hand that is winning the gold medal.

 

2014 USA Basketball Practice

Stephen Curry

Seeing limited minutes in the 2010 FIBA World Championship, Stephen Curry has elevated his game to elite status through the USA Basketball camp. Despite the loss of Durant, he is slowly becoming a leader for this team. Curry has been able to pick up the scoring load while playing both guard positions on the floor along with his improved defensive intensity. Coach Krzyzewski will need Curry to carry his hot shooting into group play and throughout the tournament to win gold.

 

James Harden is eager to take on a featured role with Team USA. (USATSI)

USA Today Sports

 James Harden
After recent comments being made regarding the best player in the NBA, the stage is set for James Harden to support his statement. The loss of George and Durant has now positioned him to show his abilities on the offensive end, but also the defensive end where he has been criticized for being lackadaisical at times. Team USA is depending on Harden to become who he says he is starting on Saturday.

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Derrick Rose

Chicago Bulls and basketball fans must remain patient with the comeback of Derrick Rose during this tournament. However, expect him to have an impact on this roster as it progresses. With the idea of alternating with point guard Kyrie Irving at the starting position, it gives Rose a chance to improve his stamina mentally and physically before the start of the 2014-15 NBA season. It will be vital for Rose to play well in spurts for this team while remaining healthy.

 

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Anthony Davis

Since the warm up games leading to Saturday, Anthony Davis has became the face of USA Basketball going into his third year in the NBA. He has been a man amongst boys in the frontcourt while adding weight to his body along with the improvement of his jump shot. This has allowed him to add to his array of skills he already possesses. After winning the national championship at the University of Kentucky, Davis was forced to grow and mature quicker than other rookies being on the 2012 Olympic team. Now, he is poised to lead USA all the way.

 

Top 5 NBA Power Forwards

    The 2013-14 NBA season has been filled with exciting highlights and significant play from the power forward position thus far. A debate that has fans and critics discussing is who is the best at that position. With various styles of play, here are the top 5 power forwards in the NBA today.

5. Dirk Nowitzki

    Dirk Nowitzki has been able to resurrect his play this season and return to his star form after battling frequent injuries last season. As the Dallas Mavericks are in playoff contention in the Western Conference, he has been able to lead the way averaging 21.8 points per game. With the added support of players such as Monta Ellis & Jose Calderon, Nowitzki has proven he is still a reliable number one option for his team. With the revival of Nowitzki, he might have extended his career and the short window of opportunity of Mark Cuban’s championship aspirations.

Will Anthony Davis' Injury Dislodge New Orleans Pelicans from Playoff Race?

4. Anthony Davis

The New Orleans big man in Anthony Davis has proven he can handle the offensive duties as a primary option in the league. While leading the NBA in blocks, Davis is also averaging 20.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game. Davis has drawn comparisons to Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan with his all around approach. The next step for him will be to grow as a facilitator. While only being 20 years old, the New Orleans Pelicans continue to build their franchise around Davis, while he brings a great deal of respect to this Pelicans franchise.

 

 

LaMarcus Aldridge:

3. LaMarcus Aldridge

Portland has captured the center of attention of many as they have become one of the elite teams in the NBA. Through the first half of the season, LaMarcus Aldridge has arguably been the best at his position. Posting career high numbers in points and rebounds with 23.9 ppg and 11.4 rebounds. He has been a significant piece to the puzzle of the Portland TrailBlazers, while becoming a MVP candidate. As Aldridge is sidelined with a groin injury, he must regain his groove back in order for Portland to have postseason success.

 

 

Is Kevin Love Starting to Lose Patience with Minnesota Timberwolves?

2. Kevin Love

Kevin Love has been a dominant force for the Minnesota Timberwolves. With the numbers he is averaging this season, Love would be in the MVP discussions if not for the lack of success that his team has. With the offensive repertoire he brings to the table, the lack of defense and leadership intangibles are what keeps his team grounded. Love has people wondering if he is just a good player on a bad team or if he needs a change in scenery. Nevertheless, it is hard to find any power forward with Love’s attributes.

 

 

1. Blake Griffin

Look out below as Blake Griffin has emerged into a superstar in the league. The shoulder injury to teammate Chris Paul has been a blessing in disguise for Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers as he stepped up. He has become more of a leader as he led his team to a 13-6 record without Paul. With the coaching of Doc Rivers, the overall game of Griffin continues to grow as the season moves forward averaging a career high in points per game at 24.3. With Griffin developing a mid range jump shot and improving his free throw shooting, the sky is the limit for the Clippers as they are preparing for what looks to be a lengthy postseason run.