It’s been quite a while since the New Orleans Pelicans have been to the playoffs, but maybe the acquisition of Omer Asik will be an addition that can help Anthony Davis and his teammates finally break the postseason drought.
A nice little story circling over the last 24 hours is that of Asik talking to Monty Williams (the head coach) and Anthony Davis during the Basketball World Cup in Spain that he wants nothing but to take rebounds and play defense for his new team. According to the rumor, Anthony Davis was practically giddy upon hearing those words. It didn’t hurt that the USA were destroying everything in its path en route to winning the competition.
In Spain, Omer Asik told Monty/Anthony Davis he just wants to rebound/defend. Upon hearing that, Davis’ smile was “like the Kool-Aid Man”
— Jim Eichenhofer (@Jim_Eichenhofer) September 17, 2014
Asik hasn’t done much else since entering the NBA, playing two seasons for the Chicago Bulls and something of half a year with the Houston Rockets. He averaged 10.1 points and 11.7 rebounds during his first year in Houston when he was a full time starter, but dropped to 5.8 points and 7.9 rebounds, spending 34 games in a suit, whether it was because of an injury or simply trying to force an exit, unhappy with the arrival of Dwight Howard.
After a so-so rookie season, Anthony Davis made quite an impact during his sophomore year. He still missed a big chunk of games due to injury (15 games) but averaged 21.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game, demonstrating that he might be the best two-way big man in the NBA, earning him a central role in the national team’s successful bid in the World Cup. Many see him as one of the top three or four players in the NBA heading into this season.
The Pelicans had plenty of promise going into the 2013-14 season as well, but injuries got in the way. Once again, that will be the determining factor because as far as talent, especially offensively, the Pelicans are loaded with a very high-quality six-man rotation that includes Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans and Eric Gorodn, when he’s actually healthy.
Asik isn’t cheap but should help Davis in becoming one of the more formidable defensive big man duos in the league over recent years, while allowing Davis to play a lot more at the ‘4’ without losing anything near the rim.