DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis as a frontcourt duo. Big names to have alongside each other. Then Cousins got hurt. His season was over. Yet the Pelicans stayed strong and made the playoffs. And have looked just fine. Here’s The Advocate reporting:

As DeMarcus Cousins reached at his torn Achilles, roiling in pain, many in the basketball world erased the New Orleans Pelicans from playoff contention.

Nearly three months later, those same Pelicans unleashed their refurbished brand to seal up the third-best record in franchise history. They won five consecutive games to finish the regular season, including a road victory over the reigning champion Golden State Warriors before blowing out the Los Angeles Clippers and San Antonio Spurs to achieve the team’s best Western Conference finish since 2008-09.

Revamped. Revitalized. Renewed.

Those three words sum up the whirlwind renovation New Orleans underwent, piecing together a 21-13 record in the wake of Cousins’ devastating injury. An increased reliance on pace and defensive versatility allowed the Pelicans to earn a tie for the West’s fourth-best record, the No. 6 seed and a first-round matchup with the Portland Trail Blazers.

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