Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/10/13
After three preseason games it's clearly obvious New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis is not the same caliber of player he was last season as a rookie. He’s better – much better – after spending nearly all of the off-season working to improve his offensive game. He’s got a go-to jump hook shot now can pull-up from 18 feet and effortlessly make jumpers and still soars for dunks when he has an open lane to the basket. He put everything on display Wednesday night and carried the Pelicans to a 99-95 victory against the Orlando Magic that improved their record to 3-0 in the preseason. Davis the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NBA draft finished with a game high 29 points on nine-of-20 shooting in front 9274 at the Veterans Memorial Arena. With that kind of performance Davis 20 appears to be ready for regular season to begin although there's five preseason games remaining on the schedule that includes Sunday's afternoon game in Biloxi Miss. against the Atlanta Hawks. But it was Davis' third consecutive game scoring at least 21 points or more. ``I've been in the gym with some of the coaches working on my stuff and I'm just trying to put it to use'' Davis said. ``I know it's preseason but we're trying to send a message that we're trying to be one of those top tier teams in the West.'' Showing that he’s more than capable of being a featured player in the offense Davis scored 15 points in the third quarter after the Pelicans trailed 47-41 at halftime. Throughout the quarter Davis repeatedly attacked the rim and frequently got to the free-throw line. Behind the Davis the Pelicans opened the third quarter on a 18-4 run to take a 59-52 lead and never looked back until they struggled down the stretch but held on to close out the Magic. Throughout the game Davis aggressively attacked the basket and didn't hesitate to step out occasionally and make mid-range jumpers. The Magic appeared as if they didn't have any answers even after Coach Jacque Vaughn yelled from the bench for his post players to crowd the lane. They fouled often and Davis made all 11 free throws which included nine in the third quarter. And if that wasn't enough he also grabbed nine rebounds blocked four shots and had two steals in 31 minutes of work. ``He's only scratching the surface he's going to get better'' Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. ``He has a way to go and he has to continue to work. He's got to get better talking on defense and understand how physical teams are playing against him and reacting to that. But what I thought he did well in the third quarter was get to the line.''
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