Don't look now but the Pelicans are causing havoc among playoff caliber teams:
- 12/10 - Headed into the 4th quarter, led the Mavericks in Dallas but lost down the stretch as Monta Ellis could not be stopped.
- 12/12 - Won in fine fashion against the Cavaliers, despite LeBron James 41 points and Anthony Davis only playing 7 minutes.
- 12/14 - Lost in overtime to the Warriors, despite no Anthony Davis for the entire game.
- 12/18 - Outscored the Rockets by 12 in the 4th quarter to win by 9 in Houston.
Stat of the day: Last season, the Pelicans had a record of 2-11 in games Tyreke Evans went down with injury or did not play.— Oleh Kosel (@Redhopeful) December 18, 2014
Anthony Davis (30 pts, 14 reb, 5 blk vs HOU) had his 3rd 30-10-5 game over last 2 seasons. Rest of NBA has ZERO such games in that span.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 19, 2014
- Dante Cunningham was the x-factor. When the Pelicans needed a bail out bucket, he could be counted on to make a jumper from somewhere along the sidelines. If the Pelicans needed a possession, he could be found hustling for an offensive rebound or getting his hand in to shake the ball loose from a Rocket. He represents everything this team needed from the bench: defense, energy and a veteran presence that can handle the moment. Good fortune for us, but shame on the rest of the league for not trying to sign him before us. The charges against him were dropped back in August!
- Luke Babbitt splashed 3 more treys and now has 20 for the month of December. It would be nice to see him contribute a little more consistently in the rebounding department, but it can be argued he hasn't been given a full opportunity. He's only averaging 20 minutes of playing time this month and tonight's 14 minutes were particularly surprisingly without Evans in the lineup because...
- John Salmons couldn't throw it into the ocean. He was 0-7 from the floor, yet he saw the same amount of time on the floor as Babbitt. Understandably, Monty Williams had to give minutes to someone further down the bench and who could stay with Harden or Ariza, but one would have assumed with Salmons' inability to make a shot and the Rockets going small at the 4:18 mark of the 3rd quarter, Jimmer Fredette would have gotten a chance before the start of the 4th quarter. Some might consider it to be a minor quibble, but Monty electing to ride Salmons could have cost the Pelicans this game. When Harden sat down, the Rockets were down 6. By the end of the 3rd quarter, they were up 3.
- Many will probably write off the Rockets poor shooting to the game being their 2nd on a back-to-back, but the Pelicans defense deserves the majority of the credit. They kept Harden in front of them and forced the Rockets to take 12 more contested shots in the game. Asik, Davis and even Anderson played tougher in the lane than we've seen of late.
Tonight, the Bourbon Street Shots hosted a watch party at Tracey's on Magazine St. and everyone in attendance was paid a surprise visit by Eric Gordon.
What a fantastic gesture by a player who will never be confused for one of the team's most beloved. Seriously, props to Gordon for taking the time out of his schedule. However, instead of praising the deed, Jimmy Smith of the Times Picayune found it more appropriate to take a shot at an injured player.
Kinda wish @TheofficialEG10 was on the bench tonight supporting his teammates instead of a watch party; team obviously OK with it.— Jimmy Smith (@JimmySmith504) December 19, 2014
Just ridiculous. The whole notion of a local celebrity reaching out to the fans of the community or the mere fact professional athletes in New Orleans are largely responsible for his livelihood never dawned on Smith? How about how his words reflect back on the storied Times Picayune? For shame, Jimmy.
The Pelicans face a back-to-back this weekend. First, they host the Portland Trailblazers on Saturday and then fly out to Oklahoma City to battle the Thunder on Sunday. As we've preached numerous times, this month is brutal! Hopefully the Pelicans can continue to stay in the neighborhood of a .500 record and then can make their move up the standings when the schedule lightens.