Pelicans take Rockets

Published: December 19, 2014

The folks at Tracey’s obviously had a blast as the Pelicans snatched a win in Houston against a team that had been playing at a very high level.  Yes, the Rockets had played an OT game the night before in Denver, but these wins matter in a tough Western Conference.  The Pelicans fought hard through a pretty impressively tough Houston Defense and found enough defense of their own to slow down the Rockets Dynamic Duo of Harden and Howard, who combined to score 38 points on 38 shots.


  • I’ll be honest, my biggest question was whether Holiday was going to be picked clean a bunch of times tonight by Beverley, who tends to give him fits.  Though Holiday was pressured into some turnovers, he handled Beverly’s intense defense pretty well – even turning it against him for a huge play in the fourth.  Holiday used to be one of the higher turnover point guards in the league.  This season, he’s been a great lead guard.  It’s almost like he’s young and developing!
  • Trevor Ariza was given the job of tracking Ryan Anderson all night, and he did a phenomenal job keeping Anderson from getting free on the perimeter.  The Pelicans countered by running double big pick and rolls with Anderson and Davis – and the Rockets would frequently switch, leaving an inferior defensive forward on Anderson.  Good counter.
  • Austin Rivers stat line isn’t good, but his +21 is accurate to his impact.  He fought Harden all night, and Harden clearly opened the game feeling like he could abuse the young fella.  He didn’t, and though Austin picked up a bunch of fouls and a technical, he gave Harden a hard time while he was in and that’s all you can ask.
  • Dante Cunningham was perfect for this type of game.  The Rockets only have one real bruiser in Howard, and the rest of their forwards are tweener rebound-only types or offense only types.  That made Cunningham a good choice to chase around and outhustle players like Ariza, Papanikolau and Montiejuaesroinjadsfohhas.  And his midrange shot was falling, including a corner three.  If he can take that step back more often, he becomes even more of a solid asset to this team.
  • Davis had a 30-14-3-2-5 game with 1 turnover and zero fouls.  Oh, and he only took 17 shots for those 30 points.
  • Eric Gordon was at Traceys for the Watch Party.  Were you there?
  • Babbitt hit his shots.  Not sure why the Rockets thought it was a good idea to let him take wide open corner threes.  Weird.
  • In the third, the Rockets defense became really suffocating.  The Pelicans, without Evans brand of chaos, really struggled to get penetration on their pick and rolls and ended up taking a lot bad shots in the face of aggressive double teams.  It almost turned the game around until the Pels forced a string of turnovers and capitalized on them in the fourth.

Next game is Saturday against Portland!


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