Injury Plagued Pelicans Lose Season Opener to Warriors

A rough way to start the season without a doubt. For Alvin Gentry’s first regular season game as head coach for the Pelicans and his first trip back to Golden State, he only had 9 players on the active rotation and were missing key guys such as Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans, Omir Asik, and Norris Cole. The lack of not only depth but also talent showed the further the game progressed, as the Pellies managed to keep up with the Warriors midway through the 2nd quarter before the Warriors went on a 12-0 run and never looked back. Steph Curry had 24 points in the 1st quarter and finished with 40 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists in which only could be described as a video game like performance.

Surely in such a big game team captain and MVP candidate Anthony Davis would be able to put the team on his back and keep the Pelicans competitive though right? False. Partly from the Warriors good defensive schemes and partly because of AD’s bad shot selection, he shot an abysmal 4-20 from the court. AD seemed comfortable taking mid-range jumpers and fadeaways all night and never made too many attempts at attacking the rim.

With the Pelicans lack of suitable players and with AD being cold all game, they had to look to outside help for most of their scoring. The biggest spark and only positive of this game came from backup PG Ish Smith who tried his hardest to keep the game interesting. Quick on both sides of the floor, Smith finished the day 7-13 for 17 points, 2 rebounds and 9 assists. He also had 3 steals, one of which he leaped up in the air at midcourt to intercept a fast break pass, to assist it down the floor later. Look for him to start at PG until Jrue is ready to play.

This Pelicans team still needs some work to adjust to Gentry’s system, and hopefully when everyone can get consistently healthy we’ll see what this team has to offer. Until then all of the weight lies on Anthony Davis and if he puts up performances like he did last night, they will not be winning too many games this year. Hopefully there will be a better turnout tomorrow as the Pellies play the Portland Trailblazers.

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