I’m not going to make this too in-depth, since it’s just one game, but I did want to jot down some qualified thoughts after watching Pelicans-Rockets tonight, and the debut of the Brow and Boogie Show.
• Not much to say, huh? Unfortunately, it’s obvious they’re going to have to feel each other out more in practice before it begins to flow in the game. Alvin Gentry didn’t leave them out for very long stretches on the floor together - an extended run to begin the game and at the end, with another chunk in the third quarter by my recollection.
• I do hope though, after getting their feet wet tonight, that Gentry will just throw the two of them into the fire. Cycling them in and out to carry various, inadequate four-man units just replicates the worst of what both the Pelicans and Kings have been this season. The point of joining these two together should be to see what kind of unexplored possibilities they can realize.
I’m not sure what end was served by trying to manage the game and break them up when they were getting burned early on. New Orleans is only nominally in the playoff race, and they're not going to get back in it playing conventionally. In any case they still got killed as they always were likely to be by a much better Rockets side. So let Brow and Boogie go out and experiment and see what clicks.
• Of course, in any process like that it’s going to be ugly at first. Davis and Cousins couldn’t figure out how to protect the interior, and they got burned inside a few times early when it looked like they weren’t quite sure who was supposed to be shouldering that assignment.
• For whatever it’s worth, though, in the 21 minutes the two shared on the floor the Pelicans were better defensively than they were offensively. It breaks down like this: 76.8 points per 100 possessions offensively, 107.9 points allowed per 100 defensively. The minus-31.1 net rating certainly isn’t good, though it was pretty much in line with New Orleans’ other two-man combos that got heavy minutes.
• Still, I did expect to see a little more out of them offensively when they were on the floor together. That 76.8/100 number is justified - even though they filled up the stat sheet (Cousins had 27, 14, five, five and four and Davis had 29 and nine) they rarely did anything individually much suggestive of their talents.
• There was however one play in the third quarter that highlighted what I thought they were capable of. Around the 4:30 mark, Davis drove by Trevor Ariza from the right elbow-ish area and finished over Clint Capela at the rim. Capela started the possession on Cousins, rotated into a double on Jrue Holiday after Cousins set a pick and then had to scramble back into the key to cover him on the roll. It gave Davis a clear path to the basket that he exploited, beginning with a very simple spread pick motion. I would’ve liked to see more of that.
• I liked Omri Casspi’s energy and scorer’s instinct, and thought he brought a nice boost. Shame he apparently broke his thumb and will have to miss four-six weeks.
• One last thought, on Houston. I wouldn’t have thought Lou Williams was exactly the piece they needed, but as a like-for-like replacement for Corey Brewer he’s obviously an upgrade. He dropped a quality 27 points, and gives an already super springy, long, dynamic offense yet another threatening scorer.