The week started off promising for the young New Orleans Pelicans. They looked like they had turned a corner with back-to-back wins... first on the road in Memphis, then at home over the Lakers. That was the club's first regular season win over the Lake Show since March 29, 2010. The victory put the Pels at 3-3. Since then they've lost all three contests on a three-game west coast road trip.
First on Sunday night, with the city's attention turned towards the Saints' demolition of the Cowboys, the Pelicans quietly lost for the second time this season to the Suns. That was in Phoenix. Then on Tuesday night, Anthony Davis got into early foul trouble and was never a factor in the City of Angels. The Lakers embarrassed the Pels with a 21 point victory.
Wednesday, in the second half of a back-to-back, the Pelicans handed the previously-winless Utah Jazz their first victory of the season in a game the Pelicans led by 16 in the third quarter. In doing so, New Orleans gave up 111 points to a team that came in averaging 87 a night. Now at 3-6, the Pelicans return home for a date Saturday with the Philadelphia 76ers, who have cooled off after their hot 3-0 start and are currently at 5-4.
The San Antonio Spurs lead the West with a record of 8-1. They also have the league's second-longest win streak at six straight. The Spurs don't have much breathing room, as the Thunder have won four straight to get to 5-1. In all, the top nine teams in the West have winning records, including the league's top-scoring team, the Los Angeles Clippers. At 5-3 though, the Clips need to practice their D. They are scoring a shade under 110 points a game, but giving up 106.5.
As for the rest of the Association, the Indiana Pacers have made like T-Pain so far this season. All they do is win, win, win no matter what. At 8-0, the Pacers are doing it with defense, allowing a league-best 84.5 points a game. They have built a three-game lead over the rest of the Eastern Conference. The defending champion Miami Heat, who knocked the Pacers out in the Eastern Conference Finals last year, are their nearest competition at 5-3. The Boston Celtics have gotten hot too. After starting 0-4, they won 4 in a row to get back to .500 before falling Wednesday to Charlotte.
Finally, in the race for the draft lottery, the 1-8 Jazz currently have the advantage despite finally getting their first win of the season over the Pelicans, but they have competition. Sacramento has lost five straight after winning their season opener.