Over the last few days, much had been written about Anthony Davis and his missing MVP-caliber numbers. The theories have ranged from teams throwing too many defenders at him to smaller defenders neutralizing his effectiveness to he's just not putting forth the requisite effort.
Well, he put on a show against the Hawks tonight: 43 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals, 3 blocks and 1 three. The Hawks double-teamed him for much of the night, yet he shot a sparkling 14-23 from the field and 14-16 from the free throw line. Davis' 43 points matched his career high.
Eric Gordon added 22 points on 8-15 from the floor and 3 of 7 from behind the arc, but unfortunately no other Pelican provided any real fireworks.
Perhaps the biggest offender of the MIA's was none other than Jrue Holiday. After playing 5 minutes in the first half (apparently the coaching staff wanted to save his minutes for after halftime), he attempted just 2 field goals for the entire game. Coming into the contest, Holiday had been averaging 23 shots per 36 minutes. I know he had stated that he was going to reduce the number of bad shots but dropping down close to zero attempts is not the best way of going about things.
For the Hawks, Kyle Korver could do no wrong, in fact, he was perfect: 22 points on 8-8 (!!!) shooting. All of their starters scored in double figures; however, I was positively enamored with Dennis Schroder. In 19 minutes, he added 15 points and displayed an ability to get to the rim any time he saw fit. Granted, he was covered by Ish Smith (shout out to his career high 11-assist night) and Toney Douglas but Schroder's talent is apparent and it's understandable why he's looking to get out from under Jeff Teague's shadow.
Stay tuned for Quentin's full recap coming up a bit later, but walk away from this loss feeling better (despite the horrid 2nd quarter) than from any of the first four games. Anthony Davis displayed his all-world talent from the moment the ball was tipped and New Orleans never quit, even after facing a 17-point deficit. Right now against elite competition, the disparity in talent is going to continue to haunt the team. In hindsight, the schedule makers have done the Pelicans no favors but it is what it is.