This one was more like it.

Just when small slivers of doubt were beginning to creep in from the outside, second-guessing the validity of an improved team, the New Orleans Pelicans executed better offensively, crashed the boards and definitely clamped down on defense.

It almost was like, uh, preseason all over again.

The Pelicans made easy work of the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night at the New Orleans Arena, winning 105-84 and avoiding their worst start since the 2004-2005 season.

"I'm just happy about the win," Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. "It's so hard to get wins in this league. I don't take that for granted. I just know that we can play like that, with that kind of energy.

"And when we don't, I'm scratching what little hair I have left off, just because we've raised the bar as far as how we play and want to play. We do it every single day in practice. We are a work team. We are not good enough to think we are just going to go out there and win games. And we proved that last night (against the Orlando Magic)."

The lapses in play that had been apparent in losses to the Indiana Pacers and the Orlando Magic disappeared. And the Pelicans looked again like the preseason squad that racked wins and grew expectations.

Those hopeful prospects – once again -- don't seem like wishful thinking, especially with the start second-year power forward Anthony Davis is having.

Davis, the No. 1 overall pick last year, just missed recording his third straight double-double, dominating the Bobcats by scoring 25 points, grabbing eight rebounds, getting six blocks, six steals and four assists. The blocks and steals were career highs, while the assists tied a career high for Davis.

"He's doing it every night," Williams said. "I still think he can be better. I want him to attack the basket more. ... Obviously I love the points and the rebounds, but he's only scratching the surface as to where he is going to be once he gets stronger and learns how to draw more fouls. He's going to be even better."

Not only did the Bobcats have trouble keeping Davis from penetrating to the goal, they also failed to close out on the 6 feet 10 budding star, as Davis' fine-tuned jump shot has only made him more dangerous.