New Orleans,LA- Not to long ago the New Orleans Pelicans were on a 4 game winning streak, winners of 7 of the last 8 then came “The Injury” that seem to derailed a promising year. The Pelicans tried to show they still can win without All-Star Big DeMarcus Cousins as they took on the Los Angeles Clippers. They started fast then faded, collapsing in the third quarter running out of juice & then collecting the loss 112-103. Blake Griffin was New Orleans top antagonist with 27 pts 12 rebs, which turned out to be Griffins final game as a Clipper as he was traded the next day to Detroit.
Like the old saying goes “at first you don’t succeed try & try again” that’s what New Orleans did this time against Sacramento. The Kings were exactly what New Orleans needed to lift their spirits after losing to the Clippers, a bottom feeding NBA team with a 9-20 road record plus their a terrible defensive team. This game should be a win for the Pells right? Don’t count on it!
New Orleans started the game off winning the 1st quarter by getting into the paint & scoring with Jrue Holiday & Anthony Davis, The rest of game was a different matter the Pells looked less confident threw out, opting to take bad contested shots as opposed to penetrating. New Orleans allowed over 20 points in second chance opportunities. The Pells seemed to be lethargic in spots through out this one: losing the points in the paint war & total rebounds.
The Kings aren’t world beaters but the have beaten New Orleans twice in their own building this season. New Orleans finished the game on 50% shooting from the field & 36% from the arc. The Pells Anthony Davis led the team in scoring with 23 pts 13 rebs in 36 mins of play. New Orleans did play more of their bench than ever before as guard Mike James made his first appearance as a Pelican. The Reserves did their part throwing in 45 points collectively being led by Ian Clarks 20 but not enough stops defensively & allowing way to many offensive rebounds (14 to 2) doomed New Orleans.
New Orleans Scoring Leaders
-Anthony Davis 23 pts 13 rebs 6 blks
-Jrue Holiday 21 pts 6 asts
-Ian Clark 20 pts 6 rebs
-Jamir Nelson 10 pts 8 asts
-Darius Miller 10 pts
The Sacramento Kings were led by the bullish play of brute forward Zach Randolph with 26 pts 12 rebs.
The next few games for The Pelicans are on the road against the likes of Oklahoma City(30-21) & Minnesota(32-22). Both whom the Pells have had difficulty with in the past, New Orleans is now on a two game losing streak since “The Injury” & must find a way to close games correctly. With the recent play of this team they must guard against a possible losing streak that could occur in the next few games, losing two winnable games at home then traveling away to face to Western Conference giants must sit in their collective psyche.
The Pelicans GM Dell Demps attempted a trade for Bulls stretch four Nikola Mirotic but the deal failed because New Orleans didn’t want to guarantee is player option of $12 million for next season. The Move if completed would must certainly provided scoring as Mirotic average almost 17 pts a game & 6 rebounds.
IN GAME INJURIES
The Pelicans also lost a few players in this game as guard Rajon Rondo took an elbow from center Omer Asik unintentionally & left the game with a blooded nose. New Orleans Pelican forward Dante Cunningham didn’t finish the game because of a sore back.
Its Mardi Gras season in The Big Easy but for the Pelicans with Cousins lost for the year, transitional defense woes & not enough fire power offensively could this mean the parties over for New Orleans?