Published: March 29, 2014
The good news is that the Pelicans managed to hold off the struggling Jazz. The bad news is that Anthony Davis went down with an ankle injury. Luckily, it didn’t appear to be anything major. Jen Hale reported that it is thought to be wear and tear.
This is just another piece of bad news for a team that can’t catch a break this season. Whenever the Pelicans get something going, a player gets hurt. It’s a reality that I’ve accepted for this season and honestly one that I’ve come to expect as well: if things are going right, something bad will happen.
Pessimistic, right? Well, maybe the Pelicans are just getting all of the bad luck out of the way before they reach relevance in the NBA hierarchy. The good news is that they’re playing their best stretch of basketball in recent memory and tonight’s win furthered their longest winning streak of the season. Tyreke Evans is looking to be worth every penny of what many labelled an egregious contract and Anthony Davis, though he went out, has been a bonafide superstar.
The Jazz threw a steady diet of post-ups at the Pelicans tonight, working heavily on the block to take advantage of mismatches versus the Pelicans bigs who have been thrust into heavier minutes than they are prepared for.
Tyreke Evans continued to get where he wanted to go despite the Jazz sagging off of him and trying to crowd the paint. To start the game, he was just throwing Trey Burke under the basket. Eventually the Jazz switched Burke off of him and gave other players chances to stop him. Yet none were a real answer for him, and he wound up scoring 22 points and handing out 15 assists on the night. I can’t wait to see him surrounded by better offensive options.
The Pelicans pulled away late in the 4th after a Jazz run and secured their 5th straight victory without Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday, Jason Smith, Eric Gordon, and Brian Roberts. Not exactly the stiffest competition, but a win and another reason to smile going forward.
- Joel Meyers and David Wesley were discussing how the Pelicans offense would run next year when Jrue Holiday returns and mentioned that he and Tyreke Evans could take turns running point. This is a fun thought.
- One of the biggest things I’ve been impressed with in the last few games is Tyreke’s patience running the point. Tyreke’s game is predicated upon faith: a gap might not be there, but he attacks and trusts that he will be able to adjust and make the right decision. This can be as ugly as it can be beautiful, but Tyreke is starting to be more patient with the ball and is incorporating his teammates into the offense, even if they probably shouldn’t be.
- Alexis Ajinca fouled out, but I think he’s been playing better recently and had a few nice blocks tonight.
- Austin Rivers continues to show that he is a capable NBA player and made some tough looks tonight.
- Al-Farouq Aminu continues to flabbergast me. His midrange shot has undoubtedly improved, even if it’s not great, and his ball-handling in recent games has seemed not quite as.. scary, even though he had a couple of stray passes tonight. Aminu isn’t Aminu if he isn’t puzzling you.
- Anthony Morrow is a must re-sign for this team. The energy, the shooting, and the scoring have all been welcome injections into the starting lineup. And he’s not just scoring from 3.
- Darius Miller got more minutes tonight and scored 12 points on 7 shots.. but I still don’t realize how he can get so few rebounds. I like him and I hope he continues to get minutes, but he’s going to need to help on the boards more.