The most highly anticipated New Orleans Hornets season in history got underway in Mexico City on Sunday against the Orlando Magic. The Hornets lacked offensive rhythm early and trailed 46-31 at the half. But G Brian Roberts, the Hornets' Summer League MVP, led New Orleans back to an 85-80 win.
Oddly enough, the Hornets are not the first New Orleans professional sports team to begin its season with a preseason win in Mexico City. In 1978, the New Orleans Saints defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 14-7 in Mexico City.
In addition to seeing Anthony Davis play in a Hornets' uniform for the first time, I was also looking forward to seeing one of my favorite players from last season. Gustavo Ayon, who went to the Orlando Magic in the Ryan Anderson trade, played very well in front of his home crowd in Mexico City. Ayon scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds.
Anthony Davis showed flashes of freakish athleticism. The Hornets' rookie scored eight points, pulled down eight rebounds, and blocked two shots. But Davis is clearly not a finished product on the offensive end and Hornets' fans will have to temper what may be unrealistic expectations for Anthony Davis this season.
Austin Rivers looked better against the Magic than he did in Summer League play. Rivers had a nice dribble penetration move and he brought energy to the defense. From what I could tell, I don't believe Monty Williams had Rivers play point guard at all, which was a surprise. Austin Rivers was the only Hornets starter in double-digits with 10 points.
I wish I could have been in the Hornets' locker room at halftime to hear Monty Williams "inspire" his players. In the second half, Brian Roberts led a furious comeback for New Orleans against the Magic. Roberts was outstanding for the Hornets in both scoring and running the offense.
On a day when New Orleans struggled from the free throw line and from beyond the arc, Brian Roberts was 4-4 on FT attempts and 3-4 on three-pointers. Although it was only a preseason game, it was great seeing the young Hornets play hard for 48 minutes and winning with Eric Gordon on the bench.
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal New Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard New Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Hornets. Patrick was in attendance the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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