Anthony Davis is frustrated with Pelicans 0-4 start

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Anthony Davis has scored more points than any player in the NBA this season with 148. He’s second in points per game at 37 a contest (behind Russell Westbrook). He’s averaging 13.2 rebounds a game (third best in NBA). He’s averaging three blocked shots per game. He has been efficient doing all of this — his PER of 38.7 leads the league in this young season.

Davis has been a flat out beast.

And the Pelicans are 0-4.

Davis is getting no help, and while he wouldn’t throw his teammates under the bus, he was clearly frustrated after the loss to the Bucks, speaking to William Guillory of The Times-Picayune.

“We had too many mental breakdowns,” Davis said. “We’re not talking out there and so, therefore, we have mental breakdowns that gave them easy layups at the basket and open shots….

“It’s definitely frustrating. We can’t get a win, it’s frustrating,” Davis said. “Whatever we need to do, we need to do it fast.”

Davis wasn’t the only one frustrated.

“I thought we played hard, but we’ve got to start playing a lot smarter,” said Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry. “We just have too many defensive breakdowns…We’ve got a lot of work that we’ve got to do. We’ve got to get better defensively. It doesn’t matter, we can get 113 every night, but if we’re going to give up 117, mathematically, that doesn’t add up.”

Statistically — and it’s a very small sample size — the Pelicans have been middle of the pack defensively this season, but are 26th in the league offensively. That said, the defense hasn’t been consistent at all — with the game close late Tuesday the Bucks Giannis Antetokounmpo got a fairly easy lay-up than an uncontested three back-to-back. There are breakdowns, and the Pelican’s offense right now (without Jrue Holiday to guide it) can’t make up the ground.

It may be a frustrating season all around in New Orleans.

Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns out 4-6 weeks with calf strain

Minnesota Timberwolves v Washington Wizards
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It’s not good news, but it looked like it could have been much worse.

Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns is out for weeks with a right calf strain, the team announced Tuesday following an MRI exam. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports it is likely 4-6 weeks.

The injury occurred midway through the third quarter Monday when Towns started to run back upcourt and went to the ground without contact, grabbing his knee and calf. It looked scary — Achilles scary — and he had to be helped off the court.

Towns has averaged 21.4 points and 8.5 rebounds a game, and while his numbers are down this season — just 32.8% on 3-pointers — the team has struggled at times without him, particularly lineups with Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards together, an -11.8 net rating (in non-garbage time minutes, via Cleaning the Glass).

Kevin Durant on chasing MVP: ‘Not really, I’ve been there, done that’

Orlando Magic v Brooklyn Nets
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Kevin Durant carried the Nets to another win Monday night, scoring 45 points on 19-of-24 shooting, plus seven rebounds and five assists.

If you’re having an MVP conversation a quarter of the way into the NBA season, Durant has to be part of it: 30 points per game on 54.8% shooting (and a ridiculous 65.9 true shooting percentage), 6.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game, plus playing solid defense and being the anchor of the Nets. After his 45-point outing to get Brooklyn a win over Orlando, Durant was asked about MVP chants and the chase for the award and was clearly not interested.

Durant has MVP numbers, but so do Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and others. If Durant is going to move to the front of the conversation, the first thing that has to happen is Brooklyn has to win a lot more games — 11-11 is not going to cut it when Tatum’s Celtics and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks have the two best records in the NBA. Winning games and finishing on a top-three team in the conference matters to some voters (and traditionally is one measure of an MVP).

Watch Herb Jones inbound off Pokusevski’s back, seal win for Pelicans

Oklahoma City Thunder v New Orleans Pelicans
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With 2.3 seconds left in the game and the Thunder down 2, they needed to steal the inbounds pass from New Orleans to have a real chance. That’s why when Aleksej Pokusevski walked on the court it looked like he was going to guard the inbounder, Herbert Jones.

Instead, Pokusevski turned his back to Jones, putting himself in position to step in front of anyone cutting to the ball to catch the inbounds. Except, Jones made the clever play to seal the game.

Pokusevski fouled Jones, who sank both free throws and sealed the 105-101 Pelicans win.

The Pelicans got 23-8-8 from Zion Williamson and picked up a win without CJ McCollum or Brandon Ingram in the lineup. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his dominant start to the season and scored 31.

Watch Lakers fan drain half-court shot to win $75,000

Indiana Pacers v Los Angeles Lakers
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It might have been the loudest the crypto.com Arena was all night.

Between the third and fourth quarters, Lakers fan Jamie Murry of Downey won $75,000 draining a half-court shot — and he got to celebrate with Anthony Davis.

Murry’s celebration is the best part — with Anthony Davis coming out to celebrate with him (and seeming a little shocked by the hug).

One other big shot fell at this game, but Lakers’ fans didn’t like it as much — Pacers’ rookie Andrew Nembhard drained a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired.