Game On: New Orleans Pelicans at Dallas Mavericks

Published: October 7, 2013

Dallas fans will get their first look at their teams’ new additions, while most Pelicans fans still have not seen theirs do to lack of television coverage in the area. Honestly, it is a shame the way the NBA treats the preseason, and if this keeps up it will be reason number 643 why the NBA won’t catch the NFL any time soon. You can’t help but find NFL preseason games, no matter how desperate you are to avoid them. Meanwhile, NBA preseason games are actually pretty good – closer to the ‘real thing’ than any other sport – and most fans never get a chance to see their team play in one.

For those who had better things to do than scour the internet looking for a link, the Pelicans first exhibition game against the Rockets had several highs and lows. The most important thing in the preseason is to stay healthy, and that dream was crushed for the Pelicans early on as Tyreke Evans went down, clutching his ankle and screaming in agony. X-Rays came back negative, so there is no break, and MRI results will soon follow. The other major negative was Jrue Holiday’s eight turnovers. Yes, there is some reason for concern, but not much. Honestly, Holiday will not be asked to handle the ball nearly as much once Gordon and Evans are on the court with him, and it was his first game with an entirely new set of teammates. But still, eight?

The bright spots featured effortless scoring fromAnthony Davis, along with some great off ball defense. His length makes him a nightmare for opposing teams both in the paint and on the perimeter. Anthony Morrow gave us reason to believe that he can be Belinelli 2.0, a guy the rest of the league had kinda given up on that we get for pennies on the dollar, and Monty puts in situations to succeed. Austin Rivers had some bright moments on both ends of the floor, as he continues to evolve into a very good rotation player that may one day be more than that. Lastly, Arinze Onuaku was surprisingly terrific, going from a guy who was fighting for a roster spot to a guy who could actually push for minutes in the rotation. It was just one game, but he was far better than both Withey and Stiemsma.

Tonight, the Pelicans need to continue working on pushing the pace. As Gerry V. often says, “Pace is a habit,” and the Pelicans have to start getting into the habit now. Evans, Holiday, and Davis are all beasts on the break and Anderson, along with Morrow, can spot up in transition with the best of them. First, though, the Pelicans have to get stops. In the Rockets game, Houston shot over 70% in the first quarter, limiting any transition opportunities. Get some stops, push the pace, develop the habit. That, and staying injury free will equal a win tonight – no matter what the scoreboard says.



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