Game On: Pels Host Celtics

Published: March 6, 2015

Lost amid the MVP race, the mounting the number injuries to big name players, game-changing calls, and other national story lines, is the race for the Western Conference Playoffs. Tying into the MVP discussions, Russell Westbrook’s recent statistical performances have overshadowed the fact that the Pelicans, who hold the head-to-head tie-breaker over the Thunder this season, can draw even for the 8th spot tonight in a home game against the 24-35 Boston Celtics.

The Pelicans are 6-1 in their last 7 games, and have the added fuel of the return of Anthony Davis, who posted a 39pt-13reb-2ast-3stl-8blk stat line in his first game back from a shoulder injury in a win against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.  “I told coach ‘Don’t take me out of the game,'” Davis said after the win. “I had so much energy tonight. I loved being back on the floor with my teammates.”

The Pelicans could use that energy having been so short handed on account of injuries lately, but guys have stepped up in a very big way for the team.  Alexis Ajinca has been playing some of his best basketball yet, scoring in double figures 6 straight games now.  Quincy Pondexter has stepped up his scoring in a big way without any drop to his hustle and defense, he had a career high 25 points just over a week ago. And then Norris Cole is shooting a career high since coming to New Orleans, and his defense and leadership has brought a noticeable change to the team in just 7 games.

But New Orleans can’t take any games for granted at this point in the season, and Boston has been a winning team since the trade for guard Isaiah Thomas, don’t expect them to just roll over. They beat the Pels earlier this season and they sit just 2 games behind a playoff spot.

Some Keys to the Game tonight:

  • Contain Isaiah Thomas – Though he isn’t shooting the ball that well in Boston, he has been averaging over 20 a game with a usage% of 35 since being traded from Phoenix.  He is going to have the ball a lot, and he likes to attack.
  • Ball Movement – The return of Anthony Davis seemed to disrupt the offense a little bit at times in Wednesday’s win against Detroit. The Pels only registered 18 assists Wednesday and 19 in a loss against Dallas Monday after having averaged 23.3 in their previous 15 games; and Evans and Davis took a combined 50 of the Pels 90 shots Wednesday, and hopefully that changes against a very average Boston D.
  • Battle of the Bigs – Boston has actually put-rebounded the Pels 2 out of the last 3 times, and all 3 games have been close. The big athletic bodies of Brandon Bass, and especially Jared Sullinger have been very hard to handle for the Pels, but with the improved play of Ajinca and the return of Davis to add to the defensive presence of Omer Asik the Pels front court should be able to handle the load.

And don’t forget, next Pelicans watch party at Tracey’s (2604 Magazine) is this coming Tuesday, March 10th for the road game against the Nets. Come on down to enjoy some good food, drink, and company of real Pels fans!

Tip Off tonight is for 7, Enjoy the Game!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.