NBA: Buy or sell 5 eye-catching late-season trends that can't be ignored

We take a closer look at five eye-catching late-season trends that can't be ignored any longer.

Portland Trail Blazers v New Orleans Pelicans
Portland Trail Blazers v New Orleans Pelicans / Sean Gardner/GettyImages
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We play buy or sell with 5 eye-catching late-season NBA trends that can no longer be ignored.

With less than a month left in the regular season before the start of the NBA Playoffs, there are many trends that are beginning to take shape down the stretch. As we inch closer and closer to the start of the postseason, we explore five of the most eye-catching late-season trends that have begun to take shape across the league and play the "buy" or "sell" game.

Late-season trend No. 1: The contending New Orleans Pelicans

The New Orleans Pelicans have won seven of their last nine games and have emerged as one of the most consistent teams in the Western Conference of late. With the LA Clippers fading down the stretch, there's suddenly a real chance the Pelicans can enter the playoffs as the fourth seed in the standings.

The big question for New Orleans is whether they should be considered a dark horse contender to make a run in the West playoffs. On one hand, it may be easy to doubt them because they're not a franchise that historically makes noise in the postseason, that may not be fair. Looking at this team from an objective standpoint, there are signs that suggest they could be a problem for opposing teams in the playoffs.

On the season, the Pelicans have a top-10 offense, defense, and net rating. They also have a strong big three in a suddenly slimmer Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and C.J. McCollum - along with an underrated supporting cast. Maybe the Pelicans are just good?

Verdict: Buy