A Tale of Two Halves

It will surprise no one to learn that the Pelicans struggle in the second half of games—being outscored by a total of 40 points over the final two periods. I decided to look at the NBA.com/stats page and sort the splits by half. This is a high level look that focuses on the basic offensive stats. To be fair to those players with who see a drop in minutes, I also look at the 1st and 2nd half by 36 minutes. So, who plays well and who doesn’t? Let’s take a look.

Eric Gordon

Gordon scores about 2 points less in the second half than the first despite his field goal percentage staying the same and seeing an increase in his 3-point percentage. Overall, Gordon remains fairly consistent and the drop in points is mainly due to him taking fewer shots in fewer minutes.

Jrue Holiday

Holiday sees a drop in his shooting percentage from both 3-point range and from 2. Yet his points remain nearly the same. This is due to him getting to the free throw line more in the second half. However, it is alarming that his 3-point shooting drops by 8% after halftime. His assists also drop by 2 in the second half per 36 minutes but, as we’ll see shortly, it is probably due to the team shooting worse.

Tyreke Evans

Per 36 minutes Evans scores about a point less in the second half and his shooting percentage dips slightly. Defensively, Evans has his steals drop by 1 per 36 minutes. His free throw attempts also increase in the second half which is something the Pelicans desperately need.

Al-Farouq Aminu

Aminu has his rebounds drop by 2 per 36 minutes. Given this is his main skill and contribution to the Pelicans this is less than ideal. Overall, his second half stats don’t look good compared to his first.

Jason Smith

Smith sees a significant drop in points—about 3—from the first half to the second. Shooting percentage also dips significantly by over 8 percent. On the flip side of that, he does get to the charity stripe more and his free throw percentage increases by 5.

Brian Roberts

Interestingly enough, Roberts sees the greatest increase from the first half to the second per 36 minutes. Per 36 minutes his points more than double in the second half. His shooting percentage increases by nearly 20 and his 3-point percent jumps by 12. He doubles his trips to the free throw line and makes them at a 96% rate. His assists increase slightly and he fouls less. Very impressive overall. Now if only his first half stats weren’t abysmal…

Ryan Anderson

Like Gordon, Anderson remains fairly consistent in his scoring with his points remaining nearly identical. However what is concerning is that his 3-point percentage drops almost 10 percent. For the Pelicans’ main deep threat that will need to improve when he comes back from injury.

Anthony Davis

If there is one bright spot for the Pelicans in the second half it is the corner stone of the franchise. Davis sees improvement in every major category. His shooting percentage and points increase. He gets to the line at a higher rate and his percentage from the stripe jumps by almost 20. He rebounds more and turns the ball over less. And as we saw recently, he can drain an occasional corner 3.


Yes, overall it is not exactly pretty. But the Pelicans’ core players remain fairly consistent. The drops in performance come from the bench and role players. As the Pelicans shore up those positions (Smith, Aminu and Roberts are not long term pieces) the second half collapses should decrease some. Unfortunately that wont be till next season at the earliest.

3 responses to “A Tale of Two Halves”

  1. Between the Dallas blowout, the No-Call, and the SHE-hawks I really just want to curl up and die.

    This weekend sucked.
    (On the bright side, maybe we can be terrible enough to keep our pick & develop Withey/Rivers for a bit.  Also, perhaps the Saints won’t have as many injury issues next year)

    ……and optimism rears it’s beautiful head. (I’m bi-polar BTW)

  2. Teams make adjustments on how to guard certain players in the 2nd half…reminders to defenders about habits etc…….thats one of the reasons…..also unless you alter some cuts etc and options on familiar play calls teams will take that away from you..

  3. I think Anderson’s percentage goes down in the second half due to fatigue. He has had to bang under the goal with big guys a lot more this year due to injuries of others, before he went out himself.

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