Tonight, the Pelicans kick off a three game West Coast swing in Phoenix. Earlier in the week, the Suns beat us 104-98, thanks in part to a miserable 3rd quarter. We got off to a fast start, but the Suns caught up quickly with some efficient offense (109.4 ORtg) that we failed to stop at any point in the second half. The Suns continually had good looks at both the rim and from 3-point territory -- a surefire recipe for disaster.
The good news is that since this loss, the Pelicans have won two straight. We've held both the Grizzlies and the Lakers to offensive ratings under 100 and Anthony Davis continues to find ways to fly higher and higher.
The bad news is our new backcourt additions are still struggling. Tyreke Evans has had only one acceptable game out of six (against Memphis) and Jrue Holiday is on pace for easily his worst season. Both of these players have enjoyed mild success earlier in their very young careers, so this is troubling. If it continues, we're going to have to stop blaming the personnel and, rather, strictly point the finger at the coaching and their schemes, right?
Speaking of the suits on the sidelines, it will be interesting to watch for any adjustments. Will Eric Bledsoe's defensive assignment give him space on the perimeter? Will the pick and roll defense improve? Will the Pelican's be better able to stay with the perimeter shooters?
One thing that could work against the Pels, would be the return of Goran Dragic. Although he is a game-time decision, it appears he should be ready to play. In the Suns game Friday, he went through both shootaround and warmups.
It's time for some payback, but it won't be easy sledding. Unless of course, someone has figured out a way to clone Davis.