Pelicans Surge Past Bucks, Evans Thriving In Starting Role
While their defense wasn't great, the New Orleans Pelicans (25-37) opened up a 6 game home stand with a 112-104 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Anthony Davis led the way for New Orleans, registering his 29th double-double of the season. The 20-year old All-Star finished with 29 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal in 40 minutes of action.
Tyreke Evans (pictured) continues to thrive in the starting lineup. His aggressiveness on offense has kept his teammates in the same mindset. He finished the game with 25 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal, and 10-10 at the charity stripe. His comfort level over the last week appears to be as good as its been since joining the Pelicans.
In the last 5 games as a starter, Evans has averaged 22.4 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 50% shooting from the field, and 38 minutes. Compare that to his season average of 12.7 ppg, 4.7 reb, 4.6 apg, 40% shooting, and 26 minutes a game, and it's easy to see Evans confidence level is rising. It also helps when he's not sharing the court with players who struggle to shoot the rock. An open floor plays to Evans' offensive strengths.
Anthony Morrow led the Pelicans bench with 16, including 12 in the 4th quarter. Eric Gordon finished with 12 on 5-10 shooting.
While Pelicans coach Monty Williams can be happy about he win, he can't be happy about his team's defense Friday night.
New Orleans shot 50% from the field, but couldn't keep the Bucks from scoring. Milwaukee, who owns the worst record in the league at 12-49, currently rank 29th in the NBA in scoring, yet shot 45%, with plenty of buckets coming in the paint. Pelicans point guard Brian Roberts (who finished with 14 points) is a serviceable offensive player, but he lacks the ability to consistently keep backcourt players from getting around him. To be blunt, his defense is bad. The poor team defense didn't cost the Pelicans the victory Friday night, but it will when they're playing better basketball teams.
Next up for the Pels, a Sunday matchup with the Denver Nuggets (27-34). Tip-off from the Smoothie King Center is set for 5:00.