The New Orleans Pelicans already look tougher than the team that folded in the bubble.
We aren’t in the NBA Bubble anymore, although the first half of the first game of the season was reminiscent of the New Orleans Pelicans‘ bubble season.
Turnovers, struggles at the line and an out-of-sync team is what the Pelicans gave us in the first half. It was eerily similar to the uninspired play we saw in the bubble earlier this year.
Fans were not happy on social media, with good reason.
There were a couple of bright spots, including this Jaxson Hayes to JJ Redick back to Jaxson to Zion slam early on.
At the half, the Raptors lead was 57 – 50. The Pelicans had 15 turnovers.
Coming out of the half, it was a whole lot of the same. Quite frankly, it felt like a repeat of the start of the 2019-2020 season, only Zion was actually on the floor.
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Then, it clicked, whatever “it” was. A time out by Stan Van Gundy early in the 3rd seemed to do the trick, and the Pels were well on their way to a statement win in game one.
Highlights were in abundance last night in Tampa.
The JJ Redick shooting clinic was on full display as the veteran, who is now in his 15th year in the league, had 23 points and was 6 for 11 for 3 with a beautiful 4-point play that was one of the many highlights of the game.
We saw the typical hustle from Josh Hart, too.
We all know how it ended, with a 113 – 99 victory. The Pelicans outscored the Raptors 32-12 in the 3rd Quarter.
There are still some issues that need to be addressed, including the turnover situation. 27 in a game normally means a loss, so it’s a testament to this team and the way they played to grind out a commanding win.
Starting the season with overcoming adversity so early on was a good lesson for this young team. It also gives something for the team to build on as the season progresses.
Let’s face it, 1-0 feels really good, especially after the way last season started and ended. Early signs is this team has more resilience than the one we saw in the bubble, let’s hope it continues.