The New Orleans Pelicans defeated the New York Knicks 99-91. Jrue Holiday led the Pelicans with 22 points, 6 assists, 4 steals and 6 rebounds while Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 22 points and 6 rebounds. The Pelicans remain two games better than the Minnesota Timberwolves for the fifth spot in the NBA draft.
Aside another typical Holiday performance, the Pelicans received solid play out of starting shooting guard, yes shooting guard, Luke Babbitt. He spaced the floor nicely and finished with a +12 plus/minus for New Orleans, totaling 12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 threes and 2 assists.
New Orleans bench outscored New York, 37-21, including 16 from Toney Douglas. With the Pelicans infinite list of injuries, it's tough to really say what this win means for the future of some of the role players. Apart from scoring efficiently, Tim Frazier did have a nice little game, but hey, it was overshadowed by his fellow guards.
I'll say this, though, Alexis Ajinca with his 12-point, six rebound performance is good for the Pelicans, in my opinion, since they need to move him this offseason. He's a lumbering big man on a team that wants to run. He has a nice contract for someone to absorb, even in this anti-big climate. I'm of the mind that if the Pelicans do snip some salary from the roster this offseason, Ajinca should be the first to go, maybe to someone like Indiana who could use a bit more muscle.
You look at Kristaps Porzingis -- 16 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks -- and that's the "goal" for next season. Of course, you want one of the best young players in the league on your roster, but with that 2016 first round pick, you want someone who can fill a spot. The hope is for a player who can space the floor from the perimeter and I think we all know a certain someone from Oklahoma who a ton of fans are currently ogling.
Is a win a good thing? Well, yes and no. I think for draft status, it's a bad win. Minnesota, a team that will be rivaling New Orleans in a Buddy Hield race (he fits both rosters and Minnesota, a team with several young athletes that could still use someone of Buddy's talents), sits ahead of New Orleans in the draft pecking order. Still, I find this to be a good win because sometimes, you just need to see your team win, you know?
A full game recap is coming in a bit.