Through the entirety of history, the New Orleans Pelicans have not lost a single game! Sure, its only through three preseason games, but the Pelicans have looked promising, winning contests versus the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, and Orlando Magic. Anthon Davis has been a dominant scorer in each game, attacking the basket with length and finishing with finesse, while displaying an improved sense of offensive timing and spacing. Jrue Holiday has, in the absence of Eric Gordon, recuperating from an offseason surgery, and Tyreke Evans, sidelined with a sprained ankle, appeared slightly overwhelmed with the entirety of the ball handling responsibilities. Though he has struggled with turnovers, Holiday has repeatedly shown why the Pelicans traded for him, opening space for Anthony Davis in the pick and roll and consistently penetrating to set up teammates. Austin Rivers, he of the worst season in NBA history, appears improved, as he did during summer league. Rivers has been more comfortable, and successful, in attacking the basket within the confines of an offense. While his free throw struggles remain, they may have diminished, and he does seem to have improved his jump shot.
Though preseason has not been an unabashed success, it shows the promise of this Pelicans roster. Anthony Davis looks like one of the best players in the NBA, almost definitely the best player on this team. The lesser Anthony, Morrow, remains an excellent shooter, and found consistent opportunities to score playing against opposing starters. One lineup, used as the starters against Houston, may be worrisome. Playing Greg Stiemsma and Al-Farouq Aminu drastically restricts the spacing for what could be, and needs to be, a high-level offense.
To stress how incredible Anthony Davis has looked offensively, he appears ready to be the team’s best offensive and defensive player. Facing the basket with some space at the elbow short corner, Davis can be as dangerous as many of the elite offensive players in the league.