This recap doesn't really need to expand much beyond the 3 words in the summary. Before the game, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau stated he was surprised Anthony Davis wasn't named as an All-Star reserve. Well, tonight's game only furthered to strengthen his correct notion.
The Pelicans got off to a good start in the 1st quarter, even though D.J. Augustin torched Brian Roberts. Eric Gordon had the game's first seven points, Al-Farouq Aminu (and his new haircut) deposited a corner 3 and Tyreke Evans showed good burst to finish the frame with a couple of lay-ins.
In the 2nd quarter, the Pelicans jumped all over the Bulls scoring 12 straight points after a pair of Jimmy Butler free throws. For the rest of the game, the Bulls never got within single digits again. The Pels finished the first half shooting 52.6% from the field (10-19 in both quarters), outrebounded the Bulls by 1 (held them to 3 offensive rebounds), had a 10-2 fastbreak and 26-12 points in the paint advantage and only turned it over 6 times.
After halftime, the Pelicans didn't let up as they won the 3rd quarter for the 3rd straight game. This, despite shooting a frigid 38.4% (big shout out to Eric Gordon's 1-7). How? Anthony Davis.
Anthony Davis sets a new @PelicansNBA franchise record: 6 consecutive games with at least 4 blocked shots.— Jennifer Hale (@JenHale504) February 2, 2014
Yeah, he blocked some shots...again. But he did some other things too including tossing in 8 points, 5 rebounds and 1 steal to go along with 2 blocks that set, of what is going to be many, franchise records.
By the time the 4th quarter rolled around, New Orleans held a 14 point lead and the Bulls just didn't have the offense to claw back into this one. Oh, this isn't to say they didn't give a Grade A effort. They crashed the boards HARD including racking up 13 offensive rebounds in the second half. However, their putrid ability to put the ball in the hoop, combined with 14 Pelican blocks on the night, made winning mission impossible.
- Anthony Davis. Anthony Davis. Anthony Davis. Rohan's right -- the best way to make a point about his stellar play is to just say his name over and over. For the game, Davis tallied 24 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 6 blocks. His jumper was switched in the ON position as he connected on 10-14 from the field and 4-4 from the line. Meanwhile, Carlos Boozer might as well have not even suited up: 2-8, 4 turnovers. Ouch. At this point, there can't be anyway the league's new commissioner, Adam Silver, doesn't replace Kobe Bryant with this 20-year old stud.
- The Pelican bigs that weren't wearing the number 23 were okay, especially by their standards. They proceeded to rack up 12 fouls (Ajinca and Stiemsma with 5 each), but at least there were positives. They all had their moments on defense joining Davis in his block party and proved to be viable outlets around the rim for several easy scores. However, once again, I was still impressed by Jeff Withey the most, despite playing under 12 minutes.
- Brian Roberts offense wasn't clicking tonight, but it was his defense that buggered me more. Augustin scored 23 points on the night and all but 6 came against our de facto starter. Granted he had the task on guarding him the majority of the time, but it all came way too easy for D.J. When shadowed by Austin Rivers, he had a much rougher go of it.
- Al-Farouq Aminu had a quiet night if one only goes by the box score, but he continues to effervesce this season. His decision making is sooo much better and his shot seems to be improving too. He may never become a truly complete basketball player, but his fit on this team is ideal. Really hope he's here for the long haul.
- Tyreke Evans started well but as the game progressed, his ability to get the ball through the hoop evaporated. Don't quote me on it, but I don't recall him taking a single jumper all night. That's just not going to fly against a Thibodeau-coached team -- easy looks around the rim ain't happening.