For the first time this month, the Pelicans showed some of that energy and fire we were privy to during the season high 5-game winning streak in March. Unfortunately, most of it occurred in the first half as nearly all of the action after intermission was laborious. Until the final 2:09 of the game, the Pelicans had tallied only 30 points for the entire second half.
That's just not going to get the job done against a playoff opponent playing in front of their raucous crowd, but credit the Trail Blazers for coming out strong in the second half. LaMarcus Aldridge got things going with several difficult jumpers and the rest of his team followed suit. Their intensity was evident and it lead to a number of easy looks at the rim. No doubt the better team walked away with the win.
- Anthony Davis started the game much like he had before the recent injuries had hit. He was moving well and scoring from all over the floor. In the first quarter alone, he had 11 points and 3 rebounds. Sadly, his back tightened up after his initial stint on the floor because for the rest of the game he only managed to add 4 points and 2 rebounds to his totals. Throughout most of the game he was seen grimacing, especially after a hard fall in the 4th quarter. I'll say it again, why is the team continuing to play him when he's not 100%?
- Brian Roberts played a team high 36:19 despite having one of his most inefficient games on the season (13 points on 17 shots). Yet, his shooting touch didn't bother me as much as the amount of time Monty gave the combination of he and Rivers. Usually our coach likes to err on the side of too much traditional big but tonight he went too small.
- Anthony Morrow posted another scoring gem (17 points on 12 shots) and thus took another step out of New Orleans. Unless he's willing to give New Orleans a hometown discount, Dell Demps isn't going to match the contract he'll fetch from another team.
- Like Davis, Tyreke Evans started hot, posting 8 points in the first quarter, but disappeared thereafter (2 points for the rest of the game). Not sure why he attempted only 9 field goals on the night but it's troubling if he wasn't dealing with any kind of injury.
- Al-Farouq Aminu was a tale of two halves. In the first half: 4 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists. Awesome. In the second half: 0 points, 0 rebounds and 1 assist. What the...?
- Austin Rivers scored the ball well and that included a three and a deep two but only 1 assist?
- Greg Stiemsma received over 17 minutes of playing time while Jeff Withey barely cracked the 3 minute barrier. I don't get it.
Welp, the losing streak keeps growing larger. It's up to 5 now and the remaining opponents on the season are Phoenix, Oklahoma City (2) and Houston (2). 32 wins are looking like a lock as the Pelicans limp to the finish line.