Aren't Jrue Holiday-Anthony Davis pick and rolls a thing of beauty?
Down one with a little over six seconds left Anthony Davis set a pick on Kemba Walker, Jrue Holiday got by Marvin Williams and Davis, with an open lane as wide as a highway rolled uninhibited to the basket and slammed home a game winning lob from Holiday with two seconds to go. Final score New Orleans 109, Charlotte 107.
The final possession, however, did not feature the most important New Orleans Pelican; Ryan Anderson scored a season high 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Anderson's hottest shooting night of the 2015-16 season saw him hit on 12 of 19 shots including six of his eight three pointers, and 21 came in the first half. Everything Anderson had was working for him tonight: drives, layups, step-backs, he even got nothing but net on a fadeaway buzzer beater to close out the third quarter.
Anderson, Davis (22 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal) and Holiday (13 points, 10 assists and 6 rebounds) was New Orleans' big three and Charlotte couldn't stop them from exerting their collective will. The trio combined for 58 of New Orleans' 109 points and did so on 55 percent shooting (26 of 47).
The Pelicans are fortunate to get out of the Smoothie King Center win a win because they were outscored in every single quarter besides the second. Charlotte won the first, third and fourth quarters 34-32, 32-27 and 26-25 respectively. But New Orleans held the Hornets to a mere 15 points in the second while the Pelicans had 25. That 10-point advantage proved to be enough of a cushion for a Pelican victory.
Tonight was a total team win as cliche and Russell Wilson-y as it sounds. Here's a breakdown of the contributions put up by the 10 Pelicans who took the court tonight.
- All 10 scored
- All 10 grabbed a rebound
- Six recorded an assist
- Six recorded a steal
- Five blocked a shot
- Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans had rather quiet nights, but they did a nice job understanding who had the hot hand and not trying to forcibly insert themselves into the flow of the game. Evans had 12 points and seven assists, while Gordon had 10 including a pair of threes.
- The Pelican bench, obviously, had a big night thanks to Anderson and Holiday but I want to show some love to Alonzo Gee. Gee had eight points, nine rebounds, two steals and one block in 29 minutes. This was one of Gee's best nights of the season.
- It was a weird rebounding night for both sides tonight. New Orleans led Charlotte 8-3 in offensive rebounds, but Charlotte had a 35-30 edge in defensive boards. The two teams played to a 38-38 draw overall. The other interesting tidbit is that no single player had an especially standout night in that department. Alonzo Gee led all players with nine. Each player contributed small little pieces to their respective team's overall rebounding total. To put it into perspective Davis, Omer Asik, Dante Cunningham and Alexis Ajinca combined for all of 11 rebounds tonight.
- Aside from tying with Charlotte in rebounding, New Orleans had the edge in just about every single other category of note. Shooting from the floor, three and the free throw line, assists, steals, turnovers, blocks, and points in the paint all went in the Pelicans' favor.
- Charlotte was threatening to shoot the lights out of the Smoothie King Center after the first quarter but fortunately the wave passed. The Hornets hit seven of 11 three pointers in the first quarter, but then could only hit seven of their next 24 the remaining three quarters.
- Hey remember when I said in the preview one of the keys for New Orleans would be limiting Charlotte free throws? Look at that, the Hornets only got to the line a dozen times tonight. I think I'm getting good at acting like I know what I'm talking about.
- I forgot how much of a pain Kemba Walker can be. Walker was on the court for 42 minutes and had 25 points, including nailing five of his seven three pointers. Nights like these remind me that the dude carried UConn to a Big East and National Title.
- Kemba's running mate Nicolas Batum matched Walker with 25 points and had eight assists to go along with it.
- Jeremy Lin needs to stop whatever he's doing with his hair. Just this year alone he's had a bowl cut, a mohawk and tonight he was sporting a total slicked back look complete with missing sides. Speaking of terrible hair...
- If I ever see Spencer Hawes someone is going to have to stop me from pulling the reverse Ron Artest Malice at the Palace. There's two things I can't stand in this world: guys who wear their hair in a bun and athletes that wear 00. Get a real haircut and pick an actual number you nerd.