Last night, the Pelicans closed out the 2014 year in seriously somber fashion with an overtime loss at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. Although it was extremely disappointing, the rest of the year did produce a number of memorable moments. Let's see if we can hit on the top ten.
10) April 17, 2014. In the final game of the 2013-14 season, Austin Rivers went out in style: 18 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 three's. Along with Tyreke Evans, he paved the way for the Pelicans upset over the Houston Rockets.
9) February 12, 2014. When the original Pierre the Pelican was unveiled last season, it was met with a lot of criticism. The New Orleans mascot was considered flat out terrifying by many. Thus, when the organization decided to give Pierre a facelift, there was a healthy amount of fanfare surrounding the event.
8) March 26, 2014. Once he started playing regularly, Anthony Morrow quickly became a fan favorite on the 2013-14 team. His best performance probably came against the Clippers in an unlikely win when he amassed 27 points, 5 rebounds and 2 three's. To this day, many fans still mourn his departure.
7) March 16, 2014. Anthony Davis went for a then career high of 40 points against the Boston Celtics. Considering the Pelicans won by just 1 point in overtime, they obviously needed every single one of his cool forty. It also didn't hurt AD chipped in 21 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks and 1 steal. Nor that he shot 14-22 and a perfect 12-12 from the foul line. And, in 48 minutes of action, he only turned the ball over once. Delicious!
6) April 14, 2014 In the second to last final regular season game, Tyreke Evans went off for 41 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists and 3 steals. Despite no Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday nor Ryan Anderson, the Pelicans managed to pull the upset over the Oklahoma City Thunder, 101-89.
5) December 14, 2014. With Anthony Davis sidelined from a chest contusion suffered in the game prior, the Pelicans still had a final shot in regulation to upset the then 20-2 Golden State Warriors. A big reason for it was due to the play of Jrue Holiday: 30 points, 9 assists, 3 rebounds, 5 steals, 1 block and 2 three's. Although the Pelicans lost, both he and Tyreke Evans showed their true mettle against Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.
4) December 12, 2014. The Cavaliers have got to be sick to death of Ryan Anderson. In our first match-up of the season with Cleveland, the Flamethrower scorched them for 32 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 8 three's in the loss. Then almost a month later, and this time in a victory, Anderson poured in 30 points, 4 rebounds and another 8 three's. When he's on, you'd be hard pressed to find better examples of sharp shooting.
3) December 21, 2014. The Pelicans are 2-0 this season against the Thunder and it wouldn't be possible without the exploits of Anthony Davis. On this particular night, Davis totaled a cool 38 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 3 blocks. The display was so dominant that the Oklahoman turned on their own player, Serge Ibaka.
Anthony Davis came to town. His Pelicans beat the Thunder 101-99. And much of that was related to the 21-year-old MVP candidate’s complete demolition of Ibaka on both ends.
2) November 22, 2014. To date, Anthony Davis' highest scoring output occurred in a win against the Jazz. With no Omer Asik and Eric Gordon going down with a shoulder injury, he stepped up in a gigantic way, totaling 43 points, 14 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block. Utah's coach summed it up well:
After the game, Jazz coach Quin Snyder said of defending Davis, "There isn’t really one way, you can say, 'Hey, we’re going to defend him and take this away.'"
1) December 2, 2014. Earlier, I had made mention of Anthony Davis' love affair with Oklahoma City's defense. Well, before his 38 point performance, he had a much more eye-popping statistical line earlier the same month: 25 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 5 blocks. AD missed the ever elusive 5x5 line by a mere assist and steal. Such a line has never been accomplished in New Orleans franchise history, and for good reason, as only 8 players have ever recorded such a feat. It's probably safe to say the 21 year old phenom will come plenty close again.
So what do you guys think? Was there something egregious that I missed? What would you rank number one overall? Let's hear it in the comments. Oh, and Happy New Year!