Game On: Pels Take On the Nets

Published: March 10, 2015

Anthony Davis is a monster.  And Pelicans continue to overcome injuries. They will have to do it one more time tonight, as Tyreke Evans is shelved for tonight’s game after twisting his ankle last night against the Milwaukee Bucks. The injury comes as the Pels wrap up a difficult stretch of playing seven games in ten nights. The Pelicans come into tonight’s game winning eight of their last ten. With a victory tonight, the Pelicans would tie the Oklahoma City Thunder for the eighth and final playoff spot out West (The Pelicans hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Thunder.) In the four games since Davis has returned, he has averaged 33.5 points, 11.8 boards and 4.5 blocks per game.

The loss of Evans hurts the Pelicans, who have been playing Evans as the de facto starting point guard in lieu of Jrue Holiday’s absence. Evans also loves playing the Nets, averaging 21.6 points per game against the team, and going for 15 points and 11 assists against the Nets in a 102-96 victory. Though maybe a repeat performance from Quincy Pondexter is in store, as he had a career-high 25 points against the Nets in that game.

The Nets, who are also fighting for a playoff spot in the East, have lost three straight.

Here are the keys to the game:

  • Rebounding- The Nets are a poor rebounding team, ranking 22nd in the league, and were just outrebounded 43-30 by the Utah Jazz in a game they lost. In a game where the Pelicans will be missing a lot of pieces, and have played a whole bunch of games of late, limiting the Nets second chance opportunities, and grabbing some second chance points, will be huge.
  • Control the Paint- The Pelicans got beat in the paint 52-42 last game. Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young both came off the bench that game, but combined for 34 points on 15-26 shooting. They’re both starting now, though Anthony Davis’ presence in this game may make a difference.
  • Assists- The Pelicans outassisted the Nets 26-13 last time. Evans was the catalyst for many of those, with his drive and kick game working in high gear. For the Pelicans to win tonight, they will need to keep the ball moving in order to find the open man and poke holes in the defense.
  • Watch Party!- We are having our monthly Watch Party tonight at Tracey’s. Come out and enjoy the company of a bunch of writers yelling at TV screens and each other. It should be entertaining (we won’t be limited to 140 characters.)

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