On a night when Stephen Curry drops 40 points in the season opener, backup center Festus Ezeli had the more impressive performance balling out in place of a hurt Andrew Bogut.
Tuesday night the Golden State Warriors hosted the New Orleans Pelicans for the closer of the NBA tipoff. The Warriors received their rings and got off to a hot start, well, Curry did. He was hitting the crossover pullup jumper, three pointers, fake passes turned into layups and by the 3:43 mark in the first quarter he had amassed 20 points.
However, the next best Warrior and the most impressive Warrior Tuesday night was Ezeli. Bogut went out of the game due to a laceration on his eye and boy did Ezeli fill his shoes. He was so good, he already looks primed to take the starting job from Bogut down the road. Remember, he played big minutes in the Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers whereas Bogut was actually benched when it came time to win.
In place of Bogut, Ezeli went 6-for-10 and had 13 points, but 13 electric points. He played great off of Curry, was active on the boards and had some highlight worthy dynamic dunks. If this is a sign of what's to come from Ezeli, the Warriors could be even more dangerous than last year. It will take time for him to make that leap, but after just one game he looks like a star in the making and at the very least, a soon to be starter.