Pincus: Are the Lakers better than the New Orleans Pelicans?

Point guard

The Pelicans made two major off-season additions in Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans.

Holiday, a one-time All-Star, was picked up from the Philadelphia 76ers in trade. Last season, he averaged 17.7 points with 8.0 assists for the Sixers.

Evans was acquired in trade from the Sacramento Kings after averaging 15.2 points a game.  The former rookie of the year could start at small forward, or come off the bench at either guard position.

The Pelicans also have Austin Rivers and Brian Roberts at the position. Rivers struggled in his rookie season. Roberts is a solid low-minute guard.

The Lakers have three point guards on their roster, including Steve Nash, who is healthier now than he was for almost all of last season (breaking his leg in the second game of the year).

In addition to veteran Steve Blake, the Lakers brought back Jordan Farmar (who recently played in Turkey).

Farmar adds some athleticism to the position for the Lakers, but the Sixers have an advantage when it comes to pure speed and quickness.

The Lakers come in with tremendous experience at the position — making up some of the athleticism gap.

Shooting guard

Eric Gordon has struggled to stay healthy (knees) but he’s a capable scorer and defender at his best. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been at his best since his time with the Clippers in 2011.

Last year, Gordon averaged 17 points a game but at 40.2% from the field in just 42 appearances.

Evans will probably log minutes at two-guard as well. The Hornets also signed shooter Anthony Morrow.

Naturally the biggest question facing the Lakers is the health of Kobe Bryant after April’s Achilles’ tendon tear. If he’s able to play the bulk of the season as a relatively high level, the Lakers have the advantage.

The Lakers also picked up Nick Young and Wesley Johnson over the off-season, both capable of playing two-guard (although they both may get more time at small forward).

Jodie Meeks is returning; the team also invited Xavier Henry to camp. Blake and even Farmar could see minutes at the two as well.

The Lakers have depth and are younger than they were a year ago.

If Gordon can bounce back, the Pelicans are formidable at shooting guard — but Bryant is still among the best in the game until proved otherwise.

via Are the Lakers better than the New Orleans Pelicans? – latimes.com.