Third Quarter Against Mavs Shows What Pelicans Can One Day Become

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Published: November 1, 2014

Things looked grim at the half. Dallas was getting whatever they wanted and Davis was the only guy who seemed to have things going for him offensively. But then the third quarter hit and we all saw what the Pelicans could be when they are hitting on all cylinders. Tyreke Evans was attacking the rim, and then when defenders backed off of him, he was stroking threes. Jrue Holiday was being more aggressive, and Anthony Davis was…well, Anthony Davis. But even more impressive was the defense that made some adjustments at the half, forcing Dallas into long, contested jumpers.

While the team was hard hedging for most of the first half, they played a little more conservative in the second half and seemed to communicate better as well. Not having to take the ball out of the bucket helped on the other end, and the result was numerous open shots early in the shot clock. It was basically the Jrue, AD, and Tyreke show as they scored and/or assisted on all 37 points. They blocked shots, created turnovers, got out and ran, then hit their jumpers. Asik played stellar defense and finished off beautiful passes with aggressive dunks. It is exactly how we envision the Pelicans playing in the near future (minus Eric Gordon and plus a 3-and-D small forward).

If you look at this as game two of a 250-300 game journey, there are reasons to be optimistic. The core pieces are here for a team that can be dominant on both sides of the ball. We tend to live or die by each game, but it is a long process and you have to be happy that they didn’t just lay down and die after being embarrassed in the first half. They dug a deep hole in the first half, climbed out of it against a great team, and then just couldn’t hit their jump shots in the final frame. There is no need for them to hang their heads – it’s a learning experience. And they will learn from the mistakes they made, just as we have learned how dominant this team can be when they put it all together.

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