New Orleans Pelicans’ New Lineup Wins

Published: December 5, 2015

The New Orleans Pelicans (5-15) defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 114-108 in overtime at the Smoothie King Center.

In the pregame post, I noted that rebounding would be a key, along with not only scoring efficiently, but also actually hitting baskets at a high rate generally. The Pelicans managed to succeed in both areas and came out on top. The Pelicans scored their 114 points on 85 shots compared to 108 points on 89 shots for the Cavaliers. Anthony Davis and LeBron James were the leading scorers for their teams. Davis had 31 on 22 shots in 46 minutes while James had 37 points on 29 shots in 45 minutes. This leaves the rest of the Pelicans with 83 points on 63 shots and 71 points on 60 shots for the rest of the Cavaliers. Not only were the Pelicans more efficient in general and across Davis’ supporting cast in general, the Pelicans converted 42 of 85 field goal attempts, which is a very high rate.

The Pelicans led the Cavaliers in rebounding 46 to 43, and for it to be close was a miniature win for New Orleans. To come out ahead is quite a surprise.

Besides Davis’ great game, one in which there was another injury scare with his left ankle, Eric Gordon had a great scoring night, including 4 of 5 from 3, and Dante Cunningham did a little bit of everything in the win. Cunningham only had 6 points on 5 shots and added 3 assists and 8 rebounds. That doesn’t really capture the effect he had on the game. This tweet is closer:

The new lineup seems to have some merit, and Gentry will likely keep the key aspects of it intact for while. Additionally, aside from the quick start by the Cavaliers, one in which JR Smith had 15 points in the first quarter and 18 points total. The Pelicans also displayed some nice attitude today. They were aggressive after the start, which helped them score efficiently and set the tone. The Pelicans’ defense had it’s issues in the fourth quarter, at least with respect to LeBron James, but it was solid and confident for long stretches.

Gentry on the game:

“I thought we did. I don’t think we’re going to play great for forty-eight minutes. You’re going to go through some situations where you struggle to score, but all-in-all, I thought we had a pretty consistent forty-eight minutes and then you add the overtime. I thought we did a pretty good job.”

It’s just one game, but they are 4-6 in their last 10, and help keeps coming to life off of the inactive roster. The Pelicans look to improve Monday when they host the Boston Celtics, which is available through all the normal channels, plus NBA TV.


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