Pelicans Lose a Battle, but not the War!

Published: April 12, 2015

Despite leading at the break, the Pelicans couldn’t hold on in the 2nd half and they fell to the Houston Rockets 121-114.  The first half the Pelicans played about as well as they could have hoped, leading by 10 at one point.  It seemed they had an answer for every Rocket run.  The ball was moving, Anderson and Holiday both had great starts, hitting their first 5 shots, and the team only had 5 first half turnovers.  They out shot Houston as well, yet only led by 4 at the break.  Houston found a way to hang around until they could get their offense going, and they found it at the FT line.  At the half Houston had 10 more FT’s on 11 more attempts than New Orleans, and that disparity would only grow by the end of the game (tho in large part to hack-a-smith and hack-a-howard).

In the second half the Pelicans sputtered just a little, but that was all Houston needed.  Some poor shot selection led to fast break points, and suddenly getting stops seemed impossible for the Pels.  Houston ended up outscoring the Pels 21-0 in fast-break points, and scored 34 and 35 points in the 3rd and 4th quarters.  Ryan Anderson had seemed to find some of his shooting touch but it faded throughout the game, he ended the night with 15 points on 13 shots.  Holiday looked good, shot the ball well, and played great defense, great news for the team as he still tries to develop chemistry with some of the Pels’ new faces in Cole, Pondexter, and Cunningham.  Let’s look back at tonight’s keys to the game:

  • 3’s and Free’s: The team defended the 3pt line fairly well, but just looking at the FT stats is…disturbing.  15-22 for New Orleans vs 34-48 for Houston.  Again, there was a fair bit of intentional fouling at the end of the game, but man oh man.  Not much else to say.
  • Ball Movement: Can’t really blame the offense for this one.  The Pelicans notched 22 assists on 44 field-goals and put up 114 points.  The offense sputtered a little in the 3rd and in the 4th but there were no big scoring droughts and no one player really tried to do too much.  114 points on 48.4% shooting with 22 assists is great, but giving up 121 on 53.4% shooting is never going to result in a win.
  • Tyreke Evans: He struggled.  He did stick to his role, he didn’t take too many ill-advised shots and he did dish out 8 assists; but he never found his scoring touch, putting up 12 on 13 shots, and in the 4th the turnovers came back around.  In his last 9 games Evans had been shooting over 54% from the field, but now as the season comes to a close the team can’t afford to have any dip in form.  Hopefully he can rebound tomorrow night.

Fortunately for the Pelicans, Oklahoma lost to the Pacers tonight, and on top of that, Westbrook was given his 16th technical of the season, meaning if it is held up he will be ineligible for their game tomorrow night against the Portland Trail Blazers.  It might not be held up, we’ll have to wait and see, but some silver linings for the Pelicans.  They still have the 8th seed, they still control their own destiny, oh and Holiday is looking pretty good, it is great to have him back!

Next up for the Pels is the Minnesota Timberwolves tomorrow night (Oklahoma is also in action as they take on division-rivals Portland).  Flock Up and support the team in any way you can!  This is it, the final push!  As my hero, Gandalf Stormcrow would say, “hope…is kindled”


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