The Pelicans fought hard throughout the game and stayed with the Bulls for nearly the entire game. The largest deficit was momentarily 16, but heading into the fourth, it was a manageable 9. Ultimately, it was a 7 point margin with 2:58 remaining, but the Pelicans were unable to stop the Bulls in their next possessions thus sealing the loss.
There were some positives to take from this loss as New Orleans stayed toe to toe with one of (if not the best) team in the East on their home floor. Davis, Jrue and Tyreke all played really well and the Pelicans managed to score 100 against one of the best defenses in the league.
However they were out-numbered by negatives, Austin Rivers went 3-11 after starting 0-7, but he wasn't the only disappearing trick. Outside of the Big 4 (AD, Jrue, Reke, Ryno), the rest of the team managed 13 points collectively!?!
The stats for this game are similar across the board:
- Pelicans shot 46.6% from the Field, Chicago 46.1%
- Pelicans Shot 87.5% from the Free throw line, Chicago 86.4%
- Pelicans shot 28.6% from 3, Chicago shot 30%.
Similar right? The main differences were found inside the painted area. The Bulls had a 54-46 advantage in points in the paint. The Pelicans were out-rebounded by 8, but at one point, it was 14. The Bulls crashed the offensive boards from the get-go and finished with 15 on the night. If you feel like blaming someone, start with Sean Kelley!
Also, the Bulls amassing 23 points off 15 turnovers hurt when compared to the Pelicans 6 off 14 turnovers. The Bulls were excellent converting turnovers and extending possessions all night long whilst the Pelican, not so much.
- Anthony Davis had 29 points, 11 rebounds and 6 blocks. Some made an issue of his touches during the 4th quarter where he had just 2 points in the final frame until the last minute. Um...
The Pelicans scored 25 points on the final 16 possessions. Unless AD shots count for four points the problem was not, at all, AD touches.— The Bird Writes (@thebirdwrites) December 28, 2014
- Tyreke Evans had an efficient 26, 5 and 5 against 3 turnovers. Tyreke was aggressive all night and even had several good individual defensive plays.
- Jrue Holiday took over the offensive load in the fourth for the Pelicans scoring 8 of his 19 points. Holiday also handed out 7 dimes in the loss.
- Jimmy Butler scored 33 points on 12-18 shooting. His physicality on offense and defense was too much for the Pelicans to handle. The Pelicans tried both Evans and Holiday on him but neither had much success.
- Derrick Rose added 19 points, but the rest of his stat line was noticeable empty.
- Taj Gibson posted a double double in just 22 minutes with 12 &10 respectably.
With tonight's loss, the Pelicans fall back down to .500 but there is no let up in the schedule. The team's next game is against the Suns at home on Tuesday, which is followed by the Spurs the following night. These next two games might prove crucial come season end considering we're all currently fighting for the bottom half of the playoff standings in the Western Conference.