The claim was recently made by Anthony Davis. Is he right?
The New Orleans Pelicans have been one of the frequently underrated and UNDERESTIMATED teams in the NBA today despite having a notably talented trio of stars in Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and, Rajon Rondo.
Anthony Davis is averaging 27 points and 10 rebounds while Cousins was averaging 25 and 12 before sustaining a season-ending injury which also made him missed the All-Star Game where he would have been a starter alongside Davis for Team LeBron. With Cousins out for the season, the Pelicans' focal point will now focus towards Davis as the New Orleans will now have to win more games to improve their 31-26 record which puts them in the 8th spot in the Western Conference with the second half of the season about to start.
Question: If DeMarcus Cousins wasn't injured, will the Pelicans have the firepower to go all the way to the NBA Finals? If you ask Anthony Davis that question, then his answer is yes.
According to Davis, he and DeMarcus Cousins would have been unstoppable if the latter is still around and you know what? Anthony Davis is speaking the truth, folks. Just how many times this season did we see both big men score 40 or more EACH in an NBA game?
No other team in the league has that powerful frontline that has 2 big men who average 25+ points and 10+ rebounds per game. Mind you, both Davis and Cousins are in the top 10 in terms of points, rebounds, AND blocks per game so losing Cousins is definitely a huge blow for the Pelicans. In addition to this, Cousins is averaging 1.6 steals per game- 10th best among all players.
Could the Pelicans have gone to the NBA Finals with both Davis and Cousins healthy?
If we look at the numbers plus the wins of the Pelicans against the elite teams in the NBA, then the answer is YES. As mentioned above, the dynamic duo of Davis and Cousins have been unstoppable especially if they are scoring at will. Not even the Golden State Warriors or the Houston Rockets have the men to cover both Cousins and Davis at the same time. In fact, the Pelicans are the only team with this kind of a frontline. It's almost like the duo of David Robinson and a young Tim Duncan, right?
However, there's one problem. DeMarcus Cousins has been known to easily lose his temper especially when calls aren't going his way. This problem has been causing him to lose focus on the game and start complaining and even yelling at the referees. The Pelicans don't need that kind of a problem if they are to dethrone the Rockets or the Warriors atop the West.
The Pelicans are 13 games behind the Rockets for the West's top seat. With Davis flying solo, again, the Pelicans might need to provide the needed reinforcement to at least, fill in the void that Cousins left. If DeMarcus Cousins was only healthy right now, they have a chance at a possible top 4 finish given the fact that the 3rd to 8th teams in the West are stacked up close. But then again, we all know that Anthony Davis is more than capable of leading his team anew as he has been doing that even before DeMarcus Cousins came around.