The New Orleans Pelicans have been considered a playoff dark horse for the past few NBA seasons, but they have failed to even reach the playoffs throughout those seasons.

They have only made one out of four postseason appearances ever since changing their name from New Orleans "Hornets" to the "Pelicans," and during their only playoff run, they, unfortunately, lost in the first round against the eventual champions Golden State Warriors.

2016-2017 NBA season

The past NBA season started out bad for the New Orleans Pelicans. The Pelicans lost eight straight games to start their 2016-2017 campaign.

After their bad start they failed to recover, they ended the season with a record of 34-48 wherein they finished 10th in the NBA Western Conference.

There have also been a few highlights in the Pelicans' season. New Orleans' superstar and the 2017 All-Star Game MVP Anthony Davis continued to impress and show some glimpses of greatness. Davis played in 75 out of 82 games and averaged 28.0 points, 11.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 steals, and 2.2 blocks per game.

They also shocked the NBA after they got another All-Star and superstar player in Demarcus Cousins, whom they received in a trade with the Sacramento Kings. Cousins' averaged 24.4 points, 12.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game in his 17 appearances with the New Orleans Pelicans.

What's ahead in the 2017-2018 NBA Season?

The New Orleans Pelicans also signed veteran point guard Rajon Rondo this offseason to a one year, $3.3 million deal. Rondo, Cousins, and Davis are all University of Kentucky alumni, and they will surely hope to incorporate the "Kentucky Connection" with the team.

But unfortunate news came to the Pelicans when it comes to Solomon Hill; the team's starting small forward.

Last season, Hill averaged 7.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.9 steals, and 0.4 blocks per game. News just broke that he was diagnosed with a proximal hamstring tear in his left leg.

The injury happened in Los Angeles where Hill was participating in a basketball workout. Hill has successfully undergone a surgery that repaired his injured hamstring.

This injury is expected to heal in six to eight months, which means that Hill is likely to miss a large part of the 2017-18 NBA season.

The small forward was important for last year's Pelicans team defensively. Hill started 71 out of the 80 games that he played and ranked third on the team's defensive win shares. Hill has also improved his three-point shooting; he averaged a career best 34.8 percent from down town.

Lastly, the New Orleans Pelicans will be facing a lot of pressure this upcoming NBA season, with Demarcus Cousins becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Pelicans need not just to produce a good season but have a deep playoff run for them to have a chance to retain their solid front court.