Pelicans Make the Cavaliers Play all 4 Quarters

Published: February 6, 2016

The Pelicans were able to somehow fight, compete, and stay around for most of the game, but could stop the Lebrons from taking control in the 4th. It was a 4-pt game heading into the the final frame despite the Pels being down double digits multiple times. They were in the game thanks in large part to Norris Cole, who decided he was just going to start making all those ridiculous shots he takes. He started the 2nd half with 5 straight buckets for 13 points. He finished the night with 26 points on 10 of 19 shooting.

The team couldn’t hit anything that wasn’t a 2. As a team the Pels shot 68.8% from the FT line and 5 of 23 from three. Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday were the major reasons the team shot below 40% on the night. The duo combined for 22 misses (Anderson 2 of 11, Holiday 5 of 18). Holiday was actually having a decent game up until half time. He had set up quite a few open looks from outside that weren’t converted and had made half his shots. But the second half he couldn’t hit anything from anywhere, it was like he and Cole swapped their typical roles.

Lebron James was Lebron James, Kyrie Irving was Kyrie Irving, J.R. Smith J.R. Smithed, Tristan Thompson did what he does (15 rebounds and 0 points in 33 minutes), every Cav played like you expect them to play, but the Pels didn’t just bow down and let them … ok one time Davis literally let Lebron get his highlight dunk … but in general the Pelicans competed with this team until crunch time came. That has been a trend in games against good teams lately. Similar stories in losses to San Antonio and Memphis. There is the backbone for a team here, what the Pels have at the moment can compete on a nightly basis, beat the worse teams (think homestretch), maybe beat the middling teams (think 1-pt loss to Houston), and then don’t quite have enough to compete with the good teams (Memphis, San Antonio, Cleveland). You can figure out what (who) that backbone is and start adding to it.

Looking back at the Pre-Game, the BDJ and Jrue Holiday both had bad outings unfortunately, but I think it is looking like Holiday does look like he can run this offense, and would unquestionably be better if he had another real NBA scoring threat next to him on the wing. And hey, they did what I asked, competed.

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