Ryan Anderson is your prototypical sixth man. Anderson showed what a true sixth man can do on Monday night for the New Orleans Hornets as the fifth-year veteran scored 31 points off the bench, helping New Orleans defeat the Detroit Pistons 105-86. The funniest thing to me about this performance is the fact that Anderson played 31 minutes and scored just as many points. It was just a night to remember for Anderson.
There is no doubt that there hasn’t been a ton to get excited about this season in New Orleans, but Anderson is giving hope to the fans. Anderson is averaging nearly 17 points a game this season and is helping a Hornets team that has Anthony Davis hitting a wall right now just before the All-Star break. Anderson could be a starter for most any other team in the NBA and is earning his $8.7 million this season.
It is just shocking how well Anderson has been over the last two seasons for a bad Hornets team, who are only 18-34 for the year. The team may eventually have to leave Davis on the bench and go with Anderson, much like the Pistons should do with Rodney Stuckey, who led Detroit with 19 points from the bench.
It was a night for the bench players in Detroit with Anderson winning the battle. I’m curious to see if Anderson’s role will change at all during the second half of the season, because I really think it should. Anderson is the real deal for New Orleans.