Pelicans force OT but come up short in sloppy game with 94-88 Loss

Published: December 25, 2015

I really hate to start a post about an overtime loss so negatively, but outside of Anthony Davis, I’m really running out of good things to say about this Pelicans team. The first half today was a total joke outside of AD; it’s a miracle that the team was only down by 4 at halftime. The Heat missed a bunch of good looks and just weren’t playing very well themselves, but that doesn’t excuse New Orleans’ poor play. The team didn’t seem to care about rebounding the basketball in the first quarter, as Hassan Whiteside outrebounded the entire Pelicans team 11-10 (5 offensive boards). The Pels clawed back in the second quarter, as Davis and Holiday shined, while the Heat couldn’t hit anything, despite a decent number of open shots.

The third quarter was basically the opposite of the second quarter; Bosh and Dragic made shots, and the Pelicans didn’t. Furthermore, Anthony Davis played all 12 minutes but only scored 3 points on 4 shot attempts and only grabbed 2 rebounds. After 3, New Orleans trailed 63-52, and based on how the prior 3 quarters had transpired, there appeared to be little hope of turning this on around.

And yet, despite ALL of that, the Pelicans had a chance to somehow WIN this game in regulation, as they had the ball with 13 seconds left. The results: 2 (!) timeouts in a span of 5 seconds, lots of dribbling, and a horrible look for AD that he missed badly. In overtime, there was no real sense of urgency on offense, and the Heat’s best players (Wade and Bosh) made two tough shots against good defense to put this game close to out of reach. With 20 seconds left and the Pelicans down by 6, Gordon missed a layup which Wade rebounded, and the team seemed content to just call it a night instead of trying to foul once more and get the ball back. To me, that speaks volumes about the overall attitude present in the New Orleans locker room right now. This team has gotten used to losing again.

Other Notes:

  • Davis didn’t score terribly efficiently (29 points on 29 FGA), but he made a very positive impact on both ends today. AD finished with 15 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, and 3 blocks. All-around solid game from the Pelicans’ superstar, but he just didn’t have a ton of help.
  • After a quiet first half, Ryan Anderson poured in 15 points on 10 shots in the second half. He also had a couple key offensive rebounds during that time, as his offensive play really helped to get the Pelicans back into this game in the 4th quarter.
  • You may not have noticed it, but Eric Gordon played 43 minutes tonight, and looked good after the first quarter (15 points on 11 shots). He took care of the ball, played pretty good defense on Wade, and just played smart basketball. Gordon was arguably the Pelicans’ best guard tonight.
  • Jrue Holiday’s minutes restriction kept him out of overtime, and the results were about what you’d expect. The offense flowed much better with Holiday as the primary ball-handler than it did with Evans. Speaking of Evans…
  • Tyreke played what may have been his worst game in a Pelicans uniform tonight. He finished with 6 points on 9 shots, and his 7 assists were dwarfed by his 5 turnovers and overall unintelligent play. He forced Gentry to call a second timeout 5 seconds into the game’s final possession, and was also called for a 5-second violation early in overtime. With each game that passes, it becomes more and more clear that he will never quite fit with Alvin Gentry’s system.

Pelicans are back in action tomorrow night at home against the Houston Rockets. Keep a close eye on Anthony Davis down the stretch in that one, as he played 50 minutes today.


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