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Preseason Game Recap: Pelicans defeat depleted Rockets 117-98

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We could even watch it!

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

First off, I want to thank the good people at CSN Houston. Thanks to your efforts a multitude of other Pelican fans unable to attend the game in person were able to partake in the Anthony Davis experience tonight. And boy was it an experience.

The court looks great in my opinion. You can check out the NBA.com highlights at this link to see for yourself. The Pelicans within each three point arc are dark enough to be seen without being terribly distracting. Opinions may vary.

In the first six minutes New Orleans jumped out to a 22-8 lead and never looked back. Anthony Davis showed off the mid range jumper, a dunk (in transition off an assist from Eric Gordon!), a steal and one man fast break (leading to a three point play), and a pretty pull up below the left elbow. It was an aggressive start from the unquestioned alpha dog on this team.

Closing out the quarter with an interesting Rivers-Fredette-Babbitt-Anderson-Ajinca lineup led to a Houston run which lasted into the second quarter cutting the Pelican lead from 17 to 10. Anthony Davis entered after roughly five minutes of game time on the bench and New Orleans quickly extended the lead to 21. Ryan Anderson was unusually hesitant in the first half letting it fly from deep. Luke Babbitt, on the other hand, nailed both opportunities.

The second half started slow for the Pelicans. A number of possessions ended in turnovers or the dreaded long twos. The Rockets B-Team clawed back reducing the New Orleans lead to just seven points (72-65) with six minutes remaining. Ryan Anderson and Darius Miller entered the game and the funk was lifted. The Pels starting attacking the basket, getting to the line, and hitting open threes highlighted by a beautiful step-back three by Jrue Holiday. It had been a rough go for Holiday as Patrick Beverley hounded him most of the night.

Rivers-Fredette-Miller-Anderson-Asik started the fourth quarter with a 15 point lead. Over the next seven minutes they would extend that lead to 24 before garbage time fired up. Three threes from Fredette and two more from Anderson put the game out of reach for Houston. Nearly every possession featured an attempted three or layup. Russ Smith played the last few minutes and looked to force the issue, leading to particularly unproductive possessions.

Notes:

  • The first possession was a post up for Omer Asik against his former team, he converted a hook shot
  • Anthony Davis is going to be absurdly good
  • Both Davis and Asik were sagging back to the free throw line in pick and roll defense
  • Babbitt did the most to help his case for minutes tonight, hitting 3-4 three point attempts
  • New Orleans as a team attempted 25 threes, knocking down 13
  • Jrue Holiday cannot enjoy playing Patrick Beverley
  • Ryan Anderson was abused quite a bit in post defense by Donatas Motiejunas
  • Eric Gordon looked much more spry tonight than I have seen him, got to the line six times
  • Austin Rivers shot 5-5 from the free throw line tonight and finished through traffic on one occasion
  • Jimmer Fredette can get NBA Jam hot
  • Davis/Asik/Anderson logged 89 of the 96 minutes at PF/C - It would have been even higher if not for the margin
You can find The Dream Shake's recap here.