Game On: Pelicans Host the Heat

Published: March 22, 2016

While it seems the plug has been pulled on the season, there are still 13 games left to play and tonight the New Orleans Pelicans host the 40-29 Miami Heat. The previous matchup was one of the ugliest games ever witnessed on Christmas Day, and it somehow went to overtime. Forcing people to watch more of that disaster was cruel, but forcing 13 more games on Pelicans fans after this season just seems like some sort of sick joke. Even Head Coach Alvin Gentry has admitted that “this is the most frustrating season I’ve ever been through.” Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, Quincy Pondexter, and Bryce Dejean-Jones are all out, and Norris Cole is questionable.

Davis is the most recent Pelican to be ruled out for the season, and arm-chair doctors have flocked to twitter with their guns fully loaded and aimed at that familiar target of the Pelicans’ medical staff. But this news should not be met with rage or consternation, people have been clamoring for something like this to happen for weeks: some reason to shut Davis down, get him healthy, and get more ping-pong balls. But despite his absence, the Pelicans managed to somehow disappoint again, as they upset a slumping Clippers team Monday 109-105.

Tonight might be a little tougher for the team, as the Heat are coming off a 122-101 victory over the Lebron Lebrons and have jumped to 3rd in the East. Joe Johnson looks like a fantastic signing for them as they anxiously wait to get Chris Bosh back from blood-clot scares. Goran Dragic has emerged recently as well, a player all too familiar with Alvin Gentry and his up-tempo style. The Pelicans will have to play very smart and disciplined basketball if they hope to have a chance against the veteran Heat tonight.

Who knows with this team though. Jrue Holiday in his last two seasons as a Pelican had not played a single game in February or March due to injury, but is the only member of the previous Pelican core to survive this far into the season. To his credit, he has been a joy to watch. Over his last 20 games Jrue has averaged 21 points, 7 and a half assists, and 3 and a half rebounds a game, all while shooting almost 45% from the floor.

New Pelican Tim Frazier has impressed as well. More than his efficient 15-5-4 stat line, he’s looked like an intelligent lead guard setting guys up and keeping the tempo high. Tonight will be his 4th game as a Pelican, and day 6 of his 10-day contract. Omer Asik has also been brought out of the attic, putting in one of his best performances of the season on Monday, scoring 15 points and grabbing a game-high 14 boards. He’ll have to grapple with Hassan Whiteside tonight, but if he does as well as he did against DeAndre Jordan he’ll be fine.

As long as Alvin Gentry has players available to him, he’ll try to win the game despite some fans’ and the Heat’s hopes. Tip Off is for 8/7CT, tune in and flock up!

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