Pelicans Play Well in Loss to Spurs

Published: March 4, 2016

The New Orleans Pelicans (23-37) fell, as expected, to the San Antonio Spurs (52-9). As noted in the pre-game, I’m dispensing with any playoff blather, and even considered not mentioning the record or the 94-86 final score, but I figured the context is valuable.

I’ve reflected on the game, and overall I’m happy with the Pelicans’ play. I’d rather a win, but I noted that I’m just focusing on play, and I liked they way they played. The Spurs played hard and just turned on the talent spigot late to end the charade. There was no win within the Pelican’s grasp, save by luck or the Spurs falling flat after taking their measured approach. Having lost Ajinca for what is reasonable to be the rest of the season and Asik not back, the Pelicans had trouble getting production from their big men. Anderson played just a quarter’s worth of minutes while Perkins played 27 minutes, about what Duncan and Diaw played. Aldridge and Leonard are who killed the Pelicans, combining for 56 points on 41 shots. Less defense doesn’t help that, so maybe that is what Gentry was thinking. The pair also added 19 rebounds.

Davis played well, but he was shut down a little, which is to be expected by a defense like theirs. Still, his scoring was efficient, which is a testament to both Davis and the little things they did to get him the ball. A little bit of two-man game was happening with Holiday, and that was nice to see. Holiday’s scoring was off, but the Spurs had something to do with that, as they made the best Pelicans work hard. Anderson hit just 3 of his 10 shots in his minutes, which was as inefficient as Cole or Holiday on this night. The guards took the majority of the shots, so the scoring was in efficient, but the Pelicans still managed not to force the issue or play foolishly, which is an improvement from just the night before. Again, a positive.

I saw the passing I wanted and decent decision-making. We’re also seeing some flexibility from Gentry, not just taking guys from the bench and merely playing them minimum minutes by necessity. I’m not sure it matters, but I’m not sure it doesn’t.

All in all, I found this game, all things considered, to be acceptable.

The Pelicans host the Jazz Saturday at 6 pm CT (UTC -6). The game will be on Fox Sports New Orleans and the Pelicans Radio Network, 99.5 FM locally.

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