Dec 1, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New Orleans Pelicans power forward Ryan Anderson (33) shoots over New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the third quarter at Madison Square Garden. New Orleans Pelicans won 103-99. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Anderson has started out the season on fire

Ryan Anderson has only played in eight of the Pelicans’ 17 games, but that’s all he’s needed to make an impact.

There isn’t an easier guy to root for in the league this season than Ryan Anderson. He came into it with a heavy heart, as he was dealing with the death of his girlfriend–which was an apparent suicide. He has handled the whole thing well, and it’s obvious that he is using basketball as a sanctuary. Anderson has always been a nice individual, and he plays with respect, and it shows.

Now, through 8 games, Anderson is on fire. He is shooting over 55% from beyond the arc on eight attempts. That’s right, Anderson is taking eight three pointers per game. He is averaging 22.6 points and 5.5 rebounds in 34 minutes per game, including a 57 minute performance in a triple overtime win over the Bulls on Monday night.

With Anthony Davis out, the Pelicans are going to rely on Anderson’s scoring and rebounding to help carry them, and so far he’s stepped up to the challenge. It’s great to see Anderson play well, and let’s hope he can keep this up. If there was a picture next to “stretch 4″ in the dictionary, Ryan Anderson would be it. He fits well in any system, and if Davis was healthy, the Pelicans seemed to be creating a powerful offense.

If New Orleans can get Davis back and get on a roll, watch out.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

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