New Orleans Pelicans: Nikola Mirotic could be the team’s secret playoff weapon

NBA New Orleans Pelicans Nikola Mirotic (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
NBA New Orleans Pelicans Nikola Mirotic (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans will be a tough out in the NBA Playoffs, and Nikola Mirotic might be the team’s secret weapon

After requesting a trade from the Chicago Bulls after the craziness that ensued in training camp, Nikola Mirotic is now a part of a one-two punch scoring tandem with Anthony Davis, both who are at times unstoppable and smart shooters, inside or from deep range.

They grinded out a win recently against a strong performance from the Warriors’ own Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Kevin Durant. Davis scored 34 points and 12 rebounds, while Mirotic scored 28 points and six rebounds, and Jrue Holiday scored 25 points in that awesome toe-to-toe 126-120 shootout of a game.

The NBA has players who are absolutley impossible to guard nowadays and the true measure of a team’s strength is its reliability and consistency on offense. Nikola Mirotic has provided the even keel the team has needed on offense; stretching defenses with quick 3’s and his much-maligned but highly effective pump-fake routine before gunning, while outsmarting slow footed defenders with his long strides, change of pace drives to the rim and scoring prowess when he is in the paint.

With Anthony Davis on the same team with Mirotic, the West is in fits trying to figure out how the Pelicans have turned into a scoring machine no one can keep up with – especially after losing DeMarcus Cousin for the season with an injury.

Are you reading this correctly? Absolutely.

The New Orleans Pelicans are almost unstoppable if Rajon Rondo is healthy and Mirotic and AD are humming on offense. As the official dark horse in the Western Conference playoffs, depending on seeding, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Pelicans make it out of the first round, no matter who their opponent might be.

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The team’s key on offense might be whether Mirotic is off or on. Especially in the absence of Cousins, he’s been that important to the team’s offense.