After overcoming their slowest start of the 2015 Summer League and scoring a mere 16 points in the first quarter, the Pelicans pulled away late to advance to tonight's semi-final clash against the Phoenix Suns at 7 PM local time.
Seth Curry scored just 3 points in the first half, but Fuquan Edwin (14 points) and Victor Rudd (13 points) picked up the slack to help New Orleans close the deficit to just 1 to the Warriors prior to halftime.
In the second half and particularly in the 4th quarter, Sdot (Seth Curry's nickname) awoke and poured in 21 points, 10 of which came from the charity stripe. Asides Curry's final line of 24 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals, a number of other Pelicans made a significant impact.
Khem Birch was a presence down low blocking away 6 shots and nabbing 12 rebounds in 30 minutes of action. Edwin finished with 19 points on 8-12 from the field and Larry Drew II had 9 points, 7 assists and 2 steals. Victor Rudd finished with 22 points, 5 rebounds and this gorgeous highlight:
Dell Demps made an appearance in NBAtv booth at the start of the 4th quarter and below is synopsis of his conversation with Isiah Thomas and Rick Kamla.
- In reference to the Pelicans Summer League squad lacking draft picks and proven NBA talent: "These guys are hungry...These guys are competing for a job and they know if they keep win tonight they will keep getting exposure."
- Thought process on bringing in Alvin Gentry to New Orleans: "Monty Williams did a lot of great things for us (ie. culture). But we looked at personnel and desired style of play and decided in the West you have to maximize your team -- get every drop out of them."
- On the growth and maturation of Davis: "We're ecstatic to have him here. He wants to be a part of our group and he understands where we're going; he believes in what we're doing."
- The addition of the three-point shot in Davis' repertoire is real. "He is legitimately working on it. We'll start him off at corner three and in time he'll become a good three point shooter."
- Regarding the next step for the Pelicans: "We want to compete for championships. The team wants to build off of last year and the guys all talking about getting together and working during the summer. The talent is there."
- Evans, Holiday, Anderson and Gordon had surgery during the last offseason, but this summer has been much quieter. "Just a couple of clean-up procedures. This year everyone will be ready 100%. We will be a deep team and play 11 or 12 guys. The team will have the versatility to play big or small and will get up and down the floor."
- In re the Summer League starting guard tandem. Curry: "Been following him for a long time and last year came close to signing him last year." Drew: "Numbers are not as flashy but he is a good basketball player: score, pass and shoot. Both are NBA players."
- Kamla asked Demps about the Racine Journal Times article that believed the Pelicans and Curry were close to agreeing to a guaranteed deal. "Where is Racine?...(laughter ensued.) We have not made any decisions right now. We're obviously looking at him but we want to make sure we add the right players to the roster."