The Pelicans won against DeMarcus Cousins’ former team, announced its own NBA D-League team for the 2018-19 season to be located somewhere in the Gulf, and Anthony Davis proved, yet again, that he is the freaking man. The Pels are 8-3 over their last 11, although it’s still basically impossible they make the playoffs.
Eh, oh well. Here’s to feeling good all the time.
First, the game:
New Orleans beat the Sacramento Kings 117-89 at the Smoothie King Center. DeMarcus Cousins faced off against his former team for the first time since the trade that brought him to town over the 2017 All Star break. This also meant former Pels Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield and Langston Galloway made their first visits since the trade, as well.
Big Cuz was happy to see his old team, not just to reminisce, but also dominate. Facing off against Whatever Papagiannis, Willie Cauley-Stein and Skal Labissiere, Cousins started well early, scoring 17-first half points to lead Nola to a big lead they were able to maintain throughout the game. Cousins finished with 37 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks.
My guess is he’s seen this move from WCS before:
In case you haven’t seen many Kings games since the trade, Buddy Hield has become a little more aggressive with the increased playing time and responsibilities. He’s leading their team in scoring since the trade and is shooting 41.7 percent from 3s, sports the third-highest usage on the team (after Tyreke and future pillar Skal Labissierre), and has a 60.7 true shooting %, good for highest on the team. You already know this site is all about Buddy. Hield finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds; Tyreke had 11 and a surprising +/- of +2,; Galloway had just three points.
Six Pelicans had two or more steals, including Tim Frazier who had four takeaways as the Kings just threw the ball all over the place. It was messy, especially early, and over before halftime. Cheick Diallo even got mop-up minutes alongside Quinn Cook late in the game.
The Kings committed 21 turnovers, and early in the game, the Pels had 19 points off turnovers before half. The Kings were bad.
D-League Coming to Da Gulf
Hey, the Pelicans are finally establishing a D-League team in the Gulf Region!
Pelicans announce that the organization intends to launch its own NBA Development League team https://t.co/MI8Rh5OD9N— New Orleans Pelicans (@PelicansNBA) March 31, 2017
The team’s official announcement noted that 11 “cities/communities” have been picked as potential homes. These 11 spots were further clarified in a tweet by ESPN’s Justin Verrier:
Pelicans president Dennis Lauscha said the team is currently looking at the following locations for its new D-League franchise: pic.twitter.com/f8KchgCLgu— Justin Verrier (@JustinVerrier) April 1, 2017
As a former D-League PR man with the Idaho Stampede (R.I.P., they’re now the SLC Stars), I can tell you this is great news for the NBA club, as well as whatever community gets to host the team. Fans will love the local sports and entertainment option, businesses will find value in the team as a marketing partner and the D-League itself will benefit by getting ever closer to the desired 30 minor league team goal. When the team owns its own D-League organization, it aligns everybody towards the one big goal: an NBA championship.
Go ahead and pay the seven bucks, read the book and learn a little about the D-League (and CBA). Make sure to check back for more news in the coming weeks and months. Of course, you should also follow SB Nation’s D-League site Ridiculous Upside.
Midway through the third quarter, Anthony Davis slammed home an alley-oop dunk, pushing him past the 2,000 point mark this season. It’s the first time in club history that anyone has scored that many points. He finished the night with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks.
I’m only half-kidding when I say that this fanbase needs to appreciate what it has before the Brow leaves town.
Davis is a nearly unstoppable offensive force still learning what skills he’ll rely on most over the next 10 years. He’s got jumpers, he’s got off-the-dribble moves, he’s got slashes, offensive rebounds, pick-and-roll finishing, this, that, the other thing, and the kitchen sink.
Appreciate his efforts the rest of this year, even when/if this team misses the playoffs. Whatever good happens to the club in future years is likely to come on his shoulders.