Jrue Holiday Ends the Pelicans’ January with a Bang

Published: January 31, 2016

Almost 3 weeks ago the Pelicans’ season looked over. At 11-26 following a loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, it seemed the Pelicans were destined to “blow it up” and fight for a high draft pick rather than post season play. Since that game the Pelicans have gone 7-2, with with a chance to make it 6 out of 7 on this home stretch on Monday against Memphis. Despite starting the month of January on a 1 and 5 run, the Pelicans finish the month with a record of 8 and 6, their first positive month of the season. In fact, the Pelicans had a top 10 offense (9th), almost a top 10 defense (12th), and a top 10 net-rating (8th) for January.

Last night against the Brooklyn Nets it looked like that run of good play was coming to an end. Anthony Davis, coming back from a concussion, was held scoreless in the first half, shooting 0-9. The offense looked very slow and finished the first frame with just 16 points. Ryan Anderson accounted for 7 of those as he continued his hot shooting at home. He finished 8 of 15 and 5 of 9 from deep, racking up 24 points off the bench. But the Pels went into the half down 7.

However, in the second half the Pelicans turned things around, and it started, of course, with Anthony Davis. Shaking off a 0-10 from the field start, Davis hit his next 3 shots, 6 out of 10 in the frame, leading the way to a 27 to 15 3rd Quarter. He finished with 20pts and 16rebs, his first 20 and 10 game in over 2 weeks. Brook Lopez was the whole reason that Brooklyn managed to stay in the game. No one could really slow him down as he hit 13 of 23 shots, tallying 33pts, 10rebs, 4blks, and 3stls.

The final quarter, however, belonged to one Jrue Holiday. 16 of his 26 points came in the fourth, including the last 7 points of the game for the Pels. He sank 2FTs to give the Pels a 100-98 lead, drilled a clutch 3 to give a 103-100 lead, and hit the game winning shot to make it 105-103. Holiday finished the night with 26pts and 7asts in just 24 minutes on the court. In the end though, it was Brooklyn’s FT shooting that really saved the Pels from what would have been a very disappointing loss. The Nets connected on just 60.9% of their FTs. New Orleans learned all too well what poor FT shooting can do, as they lost a 1-pt game earlier in the week against Houston where they managed to miss 11 from the line.

But none of that bothered Alvin Gentry. “In twenty-seven years, I have never had a bad win in the NBA,” he said after the game.

Looking at some of the keys from the pre-game:

  • The Pelicans failed to keep Brook in check, as he had a monster night. Omer didn’t have a bad night himself, grabbing 11 boards and hitting 3/5 shots in 25 minutes, but Lopez couldn’t be denied tonight and he almost carried the Nets to win.
  • The Pelicans did not have that pace and movement to start the game, and it was a big reason why they started so poorly. Of course it isn’t every night that Anthony Davis will start 0 for 9 in a half and go scoreless, but the Pelicans can’t focus on force-feeding him and Anderson, keep the ball moving.
  • The Pels had more issues defensively than they really should have. They looked like they turned it around in the 2nd half, holding the Nets to just 15 in the 3rd, but then they gave up 37 in the final quarter, way too many of which came on easy looks. It isn’t always going to be pretty, but they managed to come away with a win in a very competitive game.

Next up the Pels wrap up this 7-game home stretch Monday night against the Memphis Grizzlies, who went 10-3 in January, including a 101-99 win against the Pels just 2 weeks ago. Tune in and Flock Up!


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