Pelicans Transformed by Wizards into Flightless Birds in 2nd Half of 109-89 Loss

Published: February 23, 2016

One game after Anthony Davis led New Orleans to victory in Detroit with a career high (and NBA season high) 59 points, Davis and the Pelicans crash landed in DC in a brutal loss to the Wizards. Despite a lackluster first half, New Orleans only trailed 54-51 at halftime thanks to similar struggles by Washington. In the 3rd quarter, however, things got out of hand quickly. The Wizards stretched the lead from 3 to 17 in the first four minutes of the second half and never looked back, as the Pelicans could never even get back within single digits. Speaking of single digits, that term also describes AD’s points scored, finishing with 9 points on 9 shot attempts. In fact, all five Pelicans starters finished the game with a single digit point total. I need to stop before I get even more upset. Game notes below.

  • Norris Cole finished with more shot attempts than Anthony Davis. NO. BAD NORRIS. Furthermore, the shots he was taking were just abysmal:
    ColeMore on Cole to come, I promise.
  • Jrue Holiday was definitively the Pelicans’ best player tonight. The game flowed so much better whenever he was involved, which correlates highly to his ability to get Anthony Davis the ball in better spots than anyone else on the roster (particularly Cole). The box score shows 20 points on 21 shots and 3 turnovers to go with his 7 assists, but the most telling stat is his +/- of +1 in a game that his team lost by 20. Holiday missed all 5 of his shots from 3-point range tonight, something that is pretty uncommon for him.
  • Ryan Anderson was the Pels’ most consistent form of offense tonight. Ryno made 7 of his 11 attempts (2 of 4 from beyond the arc), finishing with 16 points and the team’s best individual +/- of +4. He also finished with as many assists (2) as Cole. Ugh.
  • The Wizards threw multiple defenders at Davis all night long, but that didn’t keep AD off of the boards. Davis pulled down one out of every three Wizards misses, finishing with his second straight 20-rebound effort. He was just one point shy of a double-double, but Norris Cole has to get his, you know?
  • Kendrick Perkins played 18 minutes tonight. If you think that would be part of a typical Alvin Gentry game plan, then I don’t know what to tell you. At this point in the season, the Pelicans have more to lose than they have to gain by playing Anthony Davis at center against the likes of Gortat and Nene. With the playoffs seemingly out of reach, it makes far more sense to keep him out of harm’s way and in a position he prefers to play, even if the chances of winning go down in the process. That doesn’t really explain playing Anderson, Davis, and Perkins all together for 3 minutes tonight, but they outscored the Wizards by 1 in that time (Probably because Cole was on the bench) so who cares I guess?
  • Toney Douglas continues to be the best healthy Pelicans point guard not named Jrue Holiday. Of course, since his competition is Norris Cole, that isn’t really saying much, but Douglas takes smarter shots and scores more efficiently.

Okay, I’ve bashed on Norris Cole enough for one night. The Pelicans are back in action at home on Thursday night against the Thunder.

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