Thursday evening was just a weird night at the Smoothie King Center.
Minutes prior to tipoff, a #Wojbomb appeared suddenly, dropping news that the Atlanta Hawks would be trading Kyle Korver to the Cleveland Cavaliers. And yet, as game time crept closer and closer, the sharpshooter kept taking warmup shots which made people wonder whether the report was wrong or someone had forgotten to tell Korver he was headed to LeBron Country. Eventually news must have spread because he never left the bench and joined the rest of us in watching his now former team pull away from the Pelicans in a total dud of a basketball game.
The Pelicans, plagued by a poor offensive showing in Cleveland, stayed in that nasty rut and couldn’t buy a basket in large parts of the game. Although New Orleans shot nearly 43 percent from three-point territory, they were abysmal inside of the arc and missed countless attempts near or at the rim.
The name of the game for New Orleans tonight was inefficiency. Anthony Davis had 20 points on 20 shots; Jrue Holiday had 18 on 15 shots and 12 came from the three-ball; ditto for Buddy Hield who had 15 points on 16 shots and was 4-9 from three.
As a whole, the team shot 37 percent from the floor. There were only 19 assists but was the ball movement bad or were the shots just not falling? It’s kind of like a chicken and egg thing, of course you won’t have a lot of assists if you aren’t making buckets so what do you do?
Tonight was just...blah. That’s the best way I can put it. Nobody had a game they can hang their hats on. Even Anthony Davis, who was a board shy of his second 20/20 game, at times played like he ate something funny before the tip. But, that might be owed to Davis getting into foul trouble early against Dwight Howard — he finished the night with five fouls. The Davis-Dwight Howard matchup should have been must see television, but fouls got both big men in trouble and they both couldn’t give it their all. Watching Anthony Davis in foul trouble check Dwight Howard who was equally in foul trouble was like watching two guys trying to fight but hold a baby at the same time.
We’re now 5 games into the small ball era and the Pelicans are averaging 98.6 points per game. We’re 37 games into the season and I still can’t figure this team out, can you?
Next up for the Pelicans is a lengthy trip out East. The Pelicans will embark on the longest road trip of the season, a 10-day, five-game excursion against the Celtics, Knicks, Nets, Pacers and Bulls. Despite the losses to Cleveland and Atlanta, New Orleans has still enjoyed a fair amount of success against the East. Playing away from the Smoothie King Center, however, has been unkind to the Pelicans, who own a 4-12 road record. And if the Pelicans shoot like they did tonight, that record hardly stands a chance of improving.