Pelicans Win the Game and in Position to Win the War

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Published: October 7, 2013
Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis is the future of this organization, and the future is now. Following a season where Davis dealt with some injury issues and was overshadowed nationally by Damian Lillard and Andre Drummond, he is now ready to take his place amongst the elite players in the NBA. Offensively, we saw the entire repertoire – dribble drives to the left and to the right, mid-range jumpers, putback layups and dunks, turnaround hooks and jumpers in the lane and post, and even some alley-oops. On the defensive end, he trapped the ball handler on picks, smothered the inbounds passer, and changed or blocked shots on the weak side.

In 26 minutes, Anthony Davis scored 25 points on 19 shots, grabbed 7 rebounds, and added a steal and a block for good measure. And somehow, those numbers don’t even do what Davis did tonight justice. Against a team that had a former NBA and Finals MVP, Davis was clearly the best player on the floor. His impact was felt on both ends on every single possession, and it is hard not to get excited about the possibilities once the Pelicans get their full arsenal of weapons on the court with Davis. Having Gordon and Evans will make the game so much easier for Davis on both ends of the floor, and that is a scary thought for the rest of the NBA.

Notes and Observations

- For those who care, the Pelicans won the game 94-92 thanks to Brian Roberts red-hot 4th quarter. Roberts scored 17 points in the 4th quarter, including a pull-up jumper with 21 seconds that put the Pelicans up for good.

- I would be shocked if Lazar Hayward makes this team. He just doesn’t offer anything to the roster that the Pelicans can’t get elsewhere. In the battle for the 15th roster spot, Arinze Okuanu has a clear edge.

- Speaking of our roster, is it possible that Monty showcases Roberts over the next few weeks? There is just no space for him on this roster when everyone is healthy, and guys like Kyle Singler and Ekpe Udoh are buried on their teams’ depth chart. A guy like Singler could get real minutes on this team, and if Roberts keeps putting up points like this, he will be on several GM’s radar.

- It is not time to start worrying about Jrue Holiday yet, but it is time to acknowledge that he will need better weapons around him to take the pressure off him offensively. When he is surrounded by inferior talent, he does not have the ability to make those guys better. Instead, he tries to do too much and he settles for terrible shots when the lane is closed due to poor spacing. Hopefully, the Pelicans stay relatively healthy throughout the season and Holiday can pick and choose his spots.

- Anthony Morrow should be allowed to do one of two things on the offensive end: Shoot a spot-up three or pass the ball. That is it and that’s all. His spot up jumper is a thing of beauty, and every time he gets a corner three off, I expect it to go in. But almost nothing good happens when he puts the ball on the floor or shoots while on the move. Catch and shoot or pass – if he does that, he could earn himself a nice little Gary Neal type contract next season.

- I like Brandan Wright, always have. Wish we could have signed him when he was cheap and the league had given up on him. Poor man’s Anthony Davis.

- You just can’t put Greg Stimesma and Al-Farouq Aminu on the court together, and quite frankly, I don’t know if Stiemsma should be on the court at all when the season starts. When those two are on the court, the Pelicans have no spacing. None. They are essentially playing three-on-five out there, and that forces Holiday to take too many chances. Those chances also result in turnovers. Instead, I would prefer to see Jason Smith with the first unit and have Stiemsma play next to Morrow, Rivers, Evans, and Anderson on the second unit. That unit could get away with Stiemsma as a black hole offensively, but a unit with Aminu can not.

Tonight, Stiemsma got 16 minutes and gave the Pelicans one point and two rebounds. He had a block and a steal, but really didn’t have any impact on the defensive end either. And there was no excuse for that. In the first game, it was understandable because he was going up against Dwight Howard, but tonight he matched up with Wright or Dalembert.

- Anderson made his season debut, playing 20 energetic minutes while giving the Pelicans 12 points and 6 rebounds (5 offensive). With the playmakers that the Pelicans have this season, I fully expect both Anderson and Davis to be in the top ten in offensive rebounds this year.

- Austin Rivers had another solid game, scoring 9 points on 8 shots. Free throws were a minor issue again (1-3), and he had two turnovers in 28 minutes, but to my eye, neither were his fault. He was in with some atrocious lineups and there were broken sets were he was just hung out to dry. He is progressing on the offensive end, but I really wish people would appreciate him on the other end. He has gone from a ten to an eighty in one calendar year on that end. He was terrible at the beginning of last year, but he is terrific right now. And I am not exaggerating. Terrific. Next game, just  do yourself a favor and watch him work on that end.

- And the best news of all: No injuries tonight! That’s priority #1 for the preseason. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

 

15 comments
lawstar
lawstar

Coaches say Gorden need to get in condition so he properly play in last two preseason games to get ready for the regular season

mateor
mateor

If that Jrue Holiday capsule is accurate, the Pelicans got their pockets picked. I haven't watched the games, but that sounds really bad.

DannyHoff
DannyHoff

is air gordon gonna sit all of the preseason or will he get some work near the end?

DannyHoff
DannyHoff

havent had a chance at watching eithe game yet, but not suprised steimsma isnt doing anything. watched him up in minnesota every night and he's awful, nice guy tho saw him at a bar, he seemed pretty cool but yeah 3rd string center at best on most teams

lawstar
lawstar

The article on Anthony Davis was right on the mark he is our franchise player improving leaps and bonds big year!  I like big Arinze Okuanu, Pelican needs big defense body in the Post

lawstar
lawstar

I like the starting line-up when Gorden get healtly with Stieman and Aminu set the tone defenseivly.  The chief Aminu needs to take more shots to keep the defense honest. 

ShamelessPel
ShamelessPel

Agree with most of what MM says. 

It's funny when you can tell which BSS writer wrote the article based on absurdly dumb statements. It's time to panic a little on Jrue after 2 preseason games if he has inferior talent around him? Have you even bothered looking at the 76ers roster from last year, most of which, sans-Holiday, will still be around to compete for the #1 overall pick? The talent around him was worse than ours from last year and they still won decidedly more games than us. That is a massively, wide-arcing statement that is stated as fact after 2 preseason games and a week of training camp with his brand new teammates under Monty. If Jrue doesn't have the ability to make people better as a PG, we might as well throw in the towel on that trade, cause we got owned.


PelicanDownUnder
PelicanDownUnder

Yes since you've pointed it out in the podcasts I have come to really admire what Austin can do defensively, played on Ellington quite well, and offensively its calming to see it slowly coming together, I agree on the two turnovers, one being a travel but i did count at least 2 instances where he did get stripped but the mavs couldn't recover it so in my mind i still count two but thats still an acceptable number in 28 minutes.

Regarding Stimesma I do hope people take him for what his worth, he won't give you alot other than the defense we havent seen yet that his reputation holds. But we have seen other big men and all players in general take time to learn Monty's system. All we can do is look for progress but I agree swapping him for Smitty in the starting line-up does make more sense.

And finally Anthony Davis! Worth the season pass by himself, I'm not going miss a second he plays this year

LaNative
LaNative

Steimsma is anemic.  In the Houston game it was the superiority of Dwight Howard that was used to explain his play.  Tonight he should have shined but he didn't and I don't believe he has it.  Austin is improved overall and your "terrific" comments will definitely make me give him more attention.  Roberts is great and deserves more but I just don't have that feeling that we can move on from him just yet.  We all will have to wait and see on the Roberts thing.

Pelican Poster
Pelican Poster

And totally agree that Aminu and Steimsma cannot be on the starting five together...at least Smith can pick and pop, but it would be ashame to lose that energy off the bench...wonder if Monty is counting on the 2nd team to either catch us up or extend a lead?

Pelican Poster
Pelican Poster

Roberts = Insurance...not sure we can get something of value for him that is better than we already have? He is the new Jannero Pargo...or would that be Morrow?

Tom Stevenson
Tom Stevenson

You just wrote a whole article about a game without naming the other team...impressive!

lawstar
lawstar

@mateor Jrue Holiday was an all star point guard last year

504ever
504ever

@LaNative 

Yeah.  Seeing Steimsma makes me wonder where all the Lopez haters are now and what do they think of Steimsma?