How the DeMarcus Cousins trade effects the Western playoff picture
Boogie and The Brow are now teammates. Photo: USA-TODAY Sports

How the DeMarcus Cousins trade effects the Western playoff picture

Following Boogie's trade from the Sacramento Kings to the New Orleans Pelicans, how are the lower seeds of the Western Conferences effected?

chris-hughes
Chris Hughes

Last night's NBA All-Star game was overshadowed by the huge news that DeMarcus Cousins had been traded by the Sacramento Kings to the New Orleans Pelicans.

The deal sees the Pels send over Buddy Hield and Langston Galloway, as well as New Orleans' first and second round picks in the upcoming draft. Omri Casspi will head to the Pelicans in return too, whilst former King Tyreke Evans will return to the franchise that drafted him.

The blockbuster trade means that the two highest-scoring big men in the league will now take to the court as teammates, changing the Western Conference's playoff picture entirely.

Anthony Davis boasts a stellar 27.7 points per game and is the stronger player at his own rim too, with the superior 11.9 rebounds per game.

Boogie meanwhile is averaging a narrowly better 27.8 points per game and also boasts the better assist numbers, with 4.8 a game.

Watch Out Denver, OKC?

Davis was the All-Star game's MVP thanks to a return of 52 points. Photo: USA-TODAY Sports

The bottom of the Western Conference is a tight affair, with the battle for the eighth seed separated by just five wins. 

Currently atop of the pile is the Denver Nuggets, who boast a record of 25-31. Beneath them are in fact the Kings themselves, who have 24 wins from a possible 57.

Down in 11th are the Pelicans, however, they are still only just two wins behind the aforementioned Nuggets, giving themselves a serious shot at reaching the post-season.

Above them are the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have 32 wins this season due to a run of four wins from the last 10 games.

If Davis and Boogie do gel to be the pairing that they can be, then an assault on the seventh-seed and the Thunder is not an unrealistic suggestion. 

OKC are two games off the pace behind the Memphis Grizzlies and are still without Enes Kanter for the foreseeable future, leaving them without a strong second unit or second points scorer.

What's more, the Nuggets still have to face off against the Thunder, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Boston Celtics and the Houston Rockets among others before the end of the regular season.

A Look at the Pelicans' Upcoming Fixtures

An edit of how the duo could look together in a Pelicans uniform. | Bleacher Report

Whilst it's no guarantee that the duo will hit the ground running, the Pelicans do have a kind schedule to finish the season.

They have just one game left to play against the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs respectively, and have played all four games against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The only 'big' side they have to play more than once is the third-placed Houston Rockets, who the Pelicans will play next, and on two more occasions after.

Most importantly, however, New Orleans has three clashes against the eight-seeded Nuggets, a series which could prove vital in the Pelicans' push for the playoffs before season's end.

What's more, the side have just two more road trips to face Eastern Conference franchises, with both coming within a matter of days in the middle of March against both the Charlotte Hornets and the Miami Heat.

Should New Orleans utilize their kinder schedule and seek an advantage over their rivals with their new star duo, it could see a couple of big franchises miss out on playoff action.

The only certainty is that all eyes will be on the Pelicans over the next few games and that it will definitely make an exciting watch.

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