The New Orleans Pelicans have the Sacramento Kings' number this year. Regardless of who was suiting up with Anthony Davis and co., they were guaranteed to come locked in to destroy the Kings. Tonight was no different, as the Pelicans rode several supremely hot players to dominate this matchup of two disappointing teams.
To be sure, the Kings defense is still not sharp. The Kings still keep getting beat backdoor, they miss key rotations, they sag off of shooters. But there was a weird mojo with everyone in Pelicans uniforms tonight. Ryan Anderson, the hometown kid who grew up dreaming of playing on the
Arco Arena Power Balance Pavilion Sleep Train Arena floor, went supernova (again) on the Kings, scoring 21 points in a quarter. He scorched all comers, but in particular went bananas when the Kings switched a small guard onto him. Jrue Holiday was sizzling himself, burying shots with a hand in his face all game long. In fact I can't remember him getting more than a couple of clean looks. Even Tim Frazier, who was just picked up off the street, and Toney Douglas, who went 3/4 from three point range, were having their way. And Anthony Davis of course is Anthony Davis.
On offense, the Kings were scoring well, but not well enough. Darren Collison fought of foul trouble to lead the way with an efficient 23 point 4 assist outing. DeMarcus Cousins was once again a victim to the isolation-heavy offense, scoring 20 points but on an inefficient 8/21 from the field and with another high-turnover outing (4). Rudy Gay also struggled again with only 12 points. At this point there's not much more left to say about the halfcourt offense. Hey, at least James Anderson had the night of his life!
- Add Tim Frazier to the long, long list of career highs racked up against the Kings. This one didn't even have a chance to practice with his team before torching the Kings as he was picked up off the street literally earlier today
- Seth Curry had a mostly uninspiring 30 minutes as Collison's backup, shooting poorly from the field. His decisionmaking was fairly solid though, as he dished five assists and only turned it over twice.
- Willie Cauley-Stein had a really bad game on both ends. He continues to sag off of shooters, including good ones like Davis and Anderson. Its been such a pervasive problem all season long without any improvement that at this point I'm starting to wonder if that's what he's being asked to do as opposed to something he needs to iron out. Its not like its some complicated concept. Just take away the shooter's airspace. It should be coached out of him in a day. But... it hasn't.
- At one point, the Pelicans ran a play called "The Loop," which is basically three pindown screens made famous by the Spurs for Tony Parker. Only the Pelicans ran it to get Anthony Davis a three. Freaky.
- Looks like the Kings are likely keeping their pick this year from going to the Chicago Bulls. Again. Five years running!
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