Short-Handed Pelicans Need Preseason Overtime to Lose to Magic

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Published: October 22, 2015

After four quarters, the New Orleans Pelicans had 101 points, matching that of the hosting Orlando Magic. Nate Robinson scored the Pelicans’ only field goals in the extra period. after 19 seconds and at the buzzer. Davis added a pair of free throws, but the Magic scored 9 between Nate’s buckets, and the Magic won 110-107.

Holiday played his new limit of 15 minutes, some in each half. Davis, Gordon, and Cunningham were over 30m of playing time at the end of regulation. Those three, Gee, and Robinson played all of overtime, and this put Gee over the 30m mark. Davis played 41m. Anderson fouled out in the fourth quarter, and this may have affected the late-game rotations.

Davis scored 33 points on 19 shots and added 16 rebounds, and Gordon scored 14 points on 7 shots. The pair combined to go 26/31 from the line, which is quite nice.

This may sound great, but the Magic don’t have anything close to Anthony Davis, and their best player didn’t contribute for 41 minutes. Early on against a Magic team that is young, talented, and has some time in service together, the Pelicans performed poorly on offense and particularly on defense. At one point, the Magic had scored 18 points at the rim, 2 points on a long jumper, 6 points from deep, and 7 points at the line. The Magic were missing shots, but they were getting some good looks, too, and the shots they made were, for the most part, the most efficient ones. Moreover, it was their wings doing the damage, showing that at least these lineups still have some perimeter defense issues, even after the coaching changes.

McCalebb, Dejean-Jones, and Robinson were the only non-guaranteed players to see minutes in the game: 12, 16, 26 minutes, respectively. All are guards. Whether the game dictated their play, this was an evaluation, or some choices have been made is not clear, but cuts need to be made soon. There is but one preseason game left, as the Pelicans host the Heat Friday at the Smoothie King Center.

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