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View Poll Results: Biggest X Factor

Voters
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  • Devonte Graham

    7 16.28%
  • Kira Lewis

    1 2.33%
  • Jose Alvarado

    10 23.26%
  • Dyson Daniels

    21 48.84%
  • Naji Marshall

    0 0%
  • Jaxson Hayes

    4 9.30%
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Thread: Biggest X Factor for the 2022-23 Season

  1. #1

    Biggest X Factor for the 2022-23 Season

    About a month and a half away from camp, and the roster appears set barring something crazy. Team is still talking with CJ and Nance about extensions, and are open to a Hayes extension if his price comes WAY down. But outside of that, no other moves appear to be coming.

    The top 7 in the rotation appear set as well, with the starting 5 (CJ, Herb, BI, Zion, Jonas) and also Nance and Murphy locked in as every day rotation players. Which leaves 3-4 regular rotation spots up for grabs. In the backcourt, Jose and Graham will be competing for first guard off the bench but Kira and Daniels could easily catch and surpass both players by the middle/end of the year. In the front court, Hayes is always looming, while Naji became one of Willie's favorite change of pace energy guys to insert last season.

    History says that at least one of these guys will emerge and have a better than expected season, emerging as a key piece for the Pelicans this season. Who is your bet to emerge as the clear cut 8th best player and major X-Factor for the Pelicans this year (and why)?
    @mcnamara247

  2. #2
    I voted Dyson based on how he approaches the game. Young, fearless, a professional and smart guy with length that makes smart plays and value the basketball. Heard that Willie was getting Herb Jones vibes from him in the sense of him being a contributor quicker than he imagined. He plays winning basketball and can be switchable in different lineups. Playing him with Avocado should be fun. I think by January he will be getting regular minutes. Hoping his jumper continues to improve
    CAW CAW!!!

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  3. #3
    I went with Graham. I love Dyson, but something tells me that Graham will be able to settle in to a more defined role this year as a gunner with staggered units. I think he was asked to do too much early in the year, and then later in the year he started pressing too much because of Jose breathing down his next. This year, he can come in and know his role will simply to take open shots. No more, no less.

    Would love to see him be what De'Anthony Melton was for the Grizz the last two years. Or what Patty Mills was in SA - 9 or 10ppg in 20 minutes, 60-ish percent of his shots from behind the arc. Occassional games where he gets hot and goes for 20, and Pels are impossible to beat in those games. And the games when he is off, you sit him and it dont really matter.

  4. #4
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!!
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    For me, it's none of the above.

    The biggest X-Factor, in my mind, is Zion Williamson. Until and unless his unavailability is no longer an issue, he will always be the X-Factor for this team. Everyone seems comfortable that ZW's injury problems are behind him despite missing games in each of the last five seasons (dating back to high school). I want to believe it's history, but at this point I'm locked in on 'Hope Mode' while 'Faith Mode' escapes me.

    Next, I think DD will be a big part of the team's success BY THE END OF THE SEASON.
    Last edited by As I See It; 08-14-2022 at 07:51 PM.
    The most important ABILITY that a player must demonstrate in order to claim "Superstar Status" is AVAILABILITY!!

  5. #5
    RIP BDJ AUSSIE_PELICAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelMcNamara View Post
    I went with Graham. I love Dyson, but something tells me that Graham will be able to settle in to a more defined role this year as a gunner with staggered units. I think he was asked to do too much early in the year, and then later in the year he started pressing too much because of Jose breathing down his next. This year, he can come in and know his role will simply to take open shots. No more, no less.

    Would love to see him be what De'Anthony Melton was for the Grizz the last two years. Or what Patty Mills was in SA - 9 or 10ppg in 20 minutes, 60-ish percent of his shots from behind the arc. Occassional games where he gets hot and goes for 20, and Pels are impossible to beat in those games. And the games when he is off, you sit him and it dont really matter.
    I voted the same.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by As I See It View Post
    For me, it's none of the above.

    The biggest X-Factor, in my mind, is Zion Williamson. Until and unless his unavailability is no longer an issue, he will always be the X-Factor for this team. Everyone seems comfortable that ZW's injury problems are behind him despite missing games in each of the last five seasons (dating back to high school). I want to believe it's history, but at this point I'm locked in on 'Hope Mode' while 'Faith Mode' escapes me.

    Next, I think DD will be a big part of the team's success BY THE END OF THE SEASON.
    We know what Zion will be if he is on the court. We know what he will contribute if he is injured. His play level is known -- his games played are not. This is a different question. Of all the guys I listed, there is legit reason to think their play when healthy will be good and reason to think that if healthy, their play could be below average/bad.

    Zions health will be of massive importance, but his impact cant vary as wildly as these guys. Its just a matter of if he plays or not

  7. #7
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!!
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    with the choices we have its graham......i think if our back court is healthy for 65 games or more then graham will be what he was supposed to be for this team.......

    if trey were a choice then i think i would have went with trey....

  8. #8
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelMcNamara View Post
    We know what Zion will be if he is on the court. We know what he will contribute if he is injured. His play level is known -- his games played are not. This is a different question. Of all the guys I listed, there is legit reason to think their play when healthy will be good and reason to think that if healthy, their play could be below average/bad.

    Zions health will be of massive importance, but his impact cant vary as wildly as these guys. Its just a matter of if he plays or not
    Fair enough, Mac!!

    In that case, I double down on DD. It seems that one of three (Alvarado, Kira, or DD) are the only likely candidates to perform as 'true' point guards which will be needed at some point. Every contending NBA club has to have a one on their roster even if he is not a starter. Through no fault of his own, Alvarado is limited because of his size (not his heart) and Kira is a big question mark physically. So, that leads me to believe that DD will be the man by season's end.

    Now people will say that we can be successful without a true point, I disagree. Last year, management made it a point to seek out two all star caliber point guards to lead this team (Lowery and Paul). I know this is another season, but many of the same actors that were here last off-season remain. If we needed one last year...we need one this year.

  9. #9
    Who is the "true PG" on the defending champion Warriors? The runner up Celtics? A lot of peoples favorites, the Clippers? The team that might have won if not for the Middleton injury, the Bucks? Sixers dont have one

    I would argue that most of the best teams dont have a true PG. Now, it doesnt hurt to have one, but if you got this many high usage playmakers, there isnt really a need for one, especially if he is smaller and unable to be a multi positional defender, like most true points.

    If Daniels can be a secondary creator and a multi positional defender, that would be awesome. I am hoping he can be an awesome 8th or 9th man by March

  10. #10
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    I voted Zion as well. I don't have to play by your rules, man. I disagree that his "play level is known." Last time he played, his main kickout options included Eric Bledsoe (34% from 3) and Nicolo Melli (25% from 3). His playmaking is unknown. He played at 300 lbs last time we saw him. Who knows how much better he will be if he is 285-290?

    But since he wasn't an option I clicked on Jose because he seems like the kind of guy who will never rest on his laurels and will keep improving.

  11. #11
    Always want to be comparative. Calm down, man, it’s a Monday. Enjoy life. I promise that nothing on this board matters/is serious

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelMcNamara View Post
    Always want to be comparative. Calm down, man, it’s a Monday. Enjoy life. I promise that nothing on this board matters/is serious
    I should have but a smiley emoji after the "I don't have to play by your rules, man." I'm just being silly.

  13. #13
    I know, I was joking too. When you are mad, you come at me WAY harder than that. Lol

  14. #14
    To me, if Zion is out most or all of the season, this team isn’t going anywhere regardless so that is in another bucket for me. If he plays, the difference between a hard fought first round loss and a 2nd or 3rd round showing is one of the guys in the poll becoming something really viable. Like how Poole and Wiggins became something much more than expected. Or Robert Williams for the Celtics, etc.

    At this time last year, you could argue those guys wouldn’t be in their teams playoff rotation. But they all had massive impacts

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelMcNamara View Post
    To me, if Zion is out most or all of the season, this team isn’t going anywhere regardless so that is in another bucket for me. If he plays, the difference between a hard fought first round loss and a 2nd or 3rd round showing is one of the guys in the poll becoming something really viable. Like how Poole and Wiggins became something much more than expected. Or Robert Williams for the Celtics, etc.

    At this time last year, you could argue those guys wouldn’t be in their teams playoff rotation. But they all had massive impacts
    Zion's realistic ceiling this year is League MVP. So he's definitely the biggest X factor. After that, I'd say Trey. Your examples of Wiggins and Williams are flawed cause those guys were starters and by your logic, they wouldn't be choices on this list of Pelicans. Poole too cause he's a normal rotation guy.

    Anyway, the reason I'm so excited about this season - and why I don't want to trade for Durant - is all the possibilities for "sustained success" and "family" and all that crap Griff has been shoveling. It is actually coming true! So much upside - as a team and for individual players.

  16. #16
    I disagree with that as his ceiling. MVPs don’t have 2, 3, and 4 options like CJ, BI, and Jonas

    And if two of those guys get hurt, to provide him the usage to put up those numbers, the team won’t win enough games to give him a shot at MVP. Not to mention that they will sit him a decent amount and stagger his minutes

    Guys that young win MVP when they are like Derrick Rose — the CLEAR number 1 option, playing a ton of minutes.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelMcNamara View Post
    I disagree with that as his ceiling. MVPs don’t have 2, 3, and 4 options like CJ, BI, and Jonas

    And if two of those guys get hurt, to provide him the usage to put up those numbers, the team won’t win enough games to give him a shot at MVP. Not to mention that they will sit him a decent amount and stagger his minutes

    Guys that young win MVP when they are like Derrick Rose — the CLEAR number 1 option, playing a ton of minutes.
    I think you're getting caught up in the mechanics of MVP voting...which is fair. Let me rephrase: Zion's ceiling is MVP-caliber level of play. His floor is breaking his foot again and missing the season. His "healthy floor" is dominance.

  18. #18
    Personally, I don’t expect Zion to make an All NBA team, even if he plays 70 games. People will always cite the 27ppg number but he won’t be on the ball nearly as much, and won’t have nearly the same usage IMO

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelMcNamara View Post
    Personally, I don’t expect Zion to make an All NBA team, even if he plays 70 games. People will always cite the 27ppg number but he won’t be on the ball nearly as much, and won’t have nearly the same usage IMO
    Sorry to derail your thread, but I predict Zion will average 30+ ppg and average 7+ assists. No one can guard him one-on-one. If he can work on his playmaking, it will obviously up his assists, but it will also help his scoring when guys don't wanna cheat off Trey or CJ anymore. You're not gonna NOT double Zion. But a third help defender will be leery of leaving Trey or CJ wide open. It is hard to guard Zion with just 2 guys. Remember those games against Memphis? They had 3 guys guarding him to no avail!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    He averaged 27 and 3.7 with a crap supporting cast in his first real season in the league. He will certainly make an all-NBA team if he stays healthy. He will have the numbers and he will have the highlights. He will put the Zion/Ja debate to bed. I am a homer and choose to live my sportsfan life as an optimist.

  20. #20
    If he was on a bad team, I would agree. All his numbers will be down from that season, IMO. Yet, he will be a better player, which I know confuses some people. But he was doing what was necessary for that putrid team at that time. This team does not need iso Zion, point guard Zion. Not to mention, that version goes completely against Willie’s offensive philosophy

  21. #21
    Gotta be DD although I see no way for DG to NOT be much improved over last year's horrendous year. But, no matter what, DG will suck BIGLY on the defensive end. Hence...DD, especially since Herb desperately needs at least ONE decent defender on the court with him so he doesn't feel obligated to try and help all over the court which sometimes comes back to haunt him. (For example, the HUGE 3-pt shot, over Herb, by Booker at crunch time in game 6 when Herb was trying to "answer the call" when asked to come over and help on CP3 by one of our really poor defenders)

    Of course, DD is definitely not Herb defensively...but, by the time playoffs roll around, I could easily see DD getting major minutes and even being one of our 5 on the court down the stretch for crunch time. And as for the "Mother of ALL X Factors"...even tho he's not listed, I can only imagine how big a deal it will be...if Trey can somehow become a decent defender as our small 5. That would open up about 43 different scenarios...whereby the Pels would suddenly become a vastly improved team. (ONLY 43...because I quit counting...at 43)
    Last edited by The Dud; 08-15-2022 at 02:53 PM.

  22. #22
    If X-factor is understood to mean someone having a better than expected season, I can’t vote for Jose because my expectations are too high. I expect that Jose solidified his spot in the rotation, last season he proved himself as a difference maker at least as much as TM3 did. So I will go with Jaxson Hayes. This will be his first season with a returning coaching staff so hopefully he will better understand what is expected of him on the floor.

  23. #23
    Hall of Famer neitzelbaby12's Avatar
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    Regular season is Devonte for me, I understand everyone being so down on him but he feels like the guy that's going to benefit the most from Z. Down the stretch and going into the playoffs, I'm leaning towards Dyson or Naji. Dyson probably won't get enough minutes early on, although I hope he earns them ASAP. Expecting his minutes to be a little more than Trey's last year. With Naji, it comes down to if he gets hot from 3. I know he isn't a good 3 point shooter but Willie trusted him enough to hound CP3 and Booker. If he somehow gets hot from 3, I could see him getting the 8th spot.
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  24. #24
    What in the world is this Naji love? He is pure, worst 10 players in the league type trash

    Some of you guys need to get a grip

  25. #25
    Hall of Famer neitzelbaby12's Avatar
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    Just throwing out ideas. An injury to a role player here and there plus the right playoff matchup and he could be the 8th or 9th guy in a playoff rotation. Do I think he will be? No, but hadn't seen him mentioned in the thread.

    I was low on Naji coming into this past season and was spot on. He bring good vibes and he's a solid 5th wing, that's all he is.

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