After 3 preseason games, the Pelicans have emerged undefeated to begin the new age in New Orleans, and there are some clear signs of improvement from last year’s campaign. With consideration that it’s only the preseason, there are still great signs ahead for the Pels, and here are 4 notable takeaways to learn from the beginning of the Pelicans era.
1. Anthony Davis is set for huge improvements this season:
The big man, now with added muscle, experience, and all-around ability, has been dominant in the first 3 preseason contests. He’s clearly benefitting from his growth over last year, finally being healthy, and our rejuvenated guard play. Davis has averaged 25 points in his first three games, 7 to go along with 7 total blocked shots. Davis is clearly improved on both ends of the floor, and if he remains healthy this time around, he could turn plenty of heads this season.
2. Our guard play is perhaps deeper than we thought:
We all know Evans, Gordon (who has been sitting out as an injury precaution) and Holiday would add crucial depth to the guard position, but Austin Rivers and Brian Roberts have shown that they have also stepped up their game immensely over the offseason. Rivers looks like he has added some size, and with that, his confidence level is clearly elevated from last year. Roberts added 17 points off the bench in the matchup against Dallas, and led a fourth quarter surge that gave us the win. The Pelicans look very strong in the backcourt thus far.
3. Injury bug will always be a factor for the Pelicans:
Sadly, we have yet to see Eric Gordon in a Pelicans uniform on the court because of the team’s decision to rest him for the time being. Going forward, his health, as always, will have to be monitored closely if we are to get the level of production from him that we feel is possible. Additionally, Tyreke Evans rolled his ankle against the Rockets, and has been out since. His injury does not look to be serious, but going forward, the Pelicans will have to be wary of the injury bug that plagued them significantly last season.
4. Morrow compliments Anderson from three:
The addition of Anthony Morrow is crucial not only because he is a true shooting guard with great touch from distance, but he compliments Anderson nicely on the size game. Anderson, as a bigger shooter can have more freedom around the arc now that defenders will have to put up with two elite 3-point shooters, especially with the fact that they play different positions. Sizing and court spacing won’t be a problem with the differences in sizes between the two players. Morrow also has been unquestionably an excellent 3-ball scorer, netting 7 threes, and posting a fantastic 26 point score line against Houston.
The Preseason still has plenty of games left to show us what to expect for the season, but these 4 factors are emerging as import ant take-aways from the Pelicans thus far. Regardless of how much weight one puts into these preseason matchups, it is clear that this is a rejuvenated, excited, and more prolific squad than what the team had only a year ago. If this quality of play can hold up, Pelicans fans should be very excited about what’s to come this season.