We here at The Bird Writes would like to wish a melancholy happy trails to the Pelicans recent 10-game win-streak. New Orleans failed to set a new franchise-record for consecutive games won thanks to their 116-97 defeat at the hands of the Washington Wizards Friday night in the Smoothie King Center.
Losing’s never fun.
It’s easy to forget how un-fun losing can be when you go nearly an entire month without catching a single L though. No lie, the Pelicans win streak began right after one of my best friend’s got married and I was 80 percent sure the two were related. Dylan and Rachel get married and New Orleans just so happens to win 10 straight immediately after? Really makes you think.
When you win a game, everyone’s happy for a night. When you win 10 straight? You’ve got the entire basketball universe’s attention. The Pelicans tied a franchise record for consecutive wins in a variety of ways: overtime nail biters, double-digit dispatchings, and fourth quarter rallies. You name it, the Pelicans probably did it between February 10 and March 9. But the win streak had to end eventually, and not having Anthony Davis certainly helped “eventually” show its ugly mug a lot sooner than anyone wanted.
For some reason, we as a society love lists. There’s even lists explaining why we love lists. How meta is that? Anyway, instead of fighting the trend I suppose I’m going to conform and nihilistically make a list of ten things I loved from this winning streak.
- Seven Road Wins. The Pelicans picked up wins in Brooklyn, Detroit, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Dallas, Los Angeles and Sacramento. Two of those wins, the Bucks and Spurs, came against playoff caliber-teams. Beating this iteration of Dallas in Dallas doesn’t sound like too big a deal, but considering the Pelicans came into the 2017-18 season with three wins in American Airlines ALL TIME and won both contests there, that’s worth celebrating. Also, the Pelicans have 21 wins on the road, fourth most in the entire NBA.
- Eight Crunch Time Wins. New Orleans is a sneaky tough team to play in tight situations. The Pelicans are 6-2 in overtime games and own a 14-4 record in their last 18 games decided by five points or fewer. They may not have been easy on the heart, but the Pelicans have shown a strong resolve when games get tight.
- 79 First Half Points Against the Lakers. Emeka Okafor got the call to starting lineup mere minutes before tip-off against the Lakers. The Pelicans then proceeded to have one of their best first halves in franchise history. New Orleans scored 46 points in the first quarter, a new record, and their 79 points at halftime was a season high and a mere one point shy of that franchise record as well. Also, Rajon Rondo and Isaiah Thomas got kicked out of the game — and of course I’m going to include the video.
Both Isaiah Thomas and Rajon Rondo were ejected after an altercation on the floor.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 15, 2018
It's the first time the two have met since Rondo's comments about IT's tribute video in Boston. pic.twitter.com/uvTRQZ13gn
4. Jrue Holiday’s Game Winner Against Miami. Anthony Davis posted the first ever 45-point, 15-rebound, 5-steal, 5-block game since steals and blocks were first tracked way back in the 1973-74 season. Neat! But it would have been for naught without Jrue Holiday, who was a terror over the win streak too with averages of 25 points, 8.5 assists and 4.6 rebounds, sinking a game winning floater with 7.3 seconds to play. Something something THIS IS MARCH*
5. AD’s 53-18-5 Against Phoenix. This. This was an actual stat line produced by Anthony Davis. Sometimes it’s hard to believe just how good Davis is. He’s like if a hurricane and a megazord produced a child and gave him a basketball straight out of the womb. Also, Anthony Davis and I graduated high school the same year. One of us has been infinitely more successful than the other since getting our diploma.
6. The Rally in San Antonio. Man, look I don’t care if this current version of the Spurs aren’t as Spur-y as other Spurs teams we’ve seen the past 20 years. Beating San Antonio in San Antonio is a big deal to me personally. Remember when Ralph beat up the bully with the weird fox fur hat thing in A Christmas Story? Remember how you cheered when Scut’s face was all beat up and bloodied? That’s me anytime I see the Pelicans finally getting their lick back against the Spurs.
7. 39 Assists Against the Clippers. The ball movement that night was *kisses fingers* c’est magnifique. Jrue Holiday had 17 all by himself! I’d go on but I’ll end up salivating all over my keyboard if I tried writing about New Orleans’ borderline erotic ball movement in the Staples Center.
8. Ian Clark’s Popcorn Grab
This is a sign of a team that is equal parts loose and confident. New Orleans was really feeling themselves at this point in the win streak and Clark grabbing a handful of popcorn is just so cool to me. Also, this video has less than 300 views. Let’s try and fix that.
9. Cheick Diallo’s Dallas Double-Double. One of the few silver linings from the DeMarcus Cousins injury has been the opportunity afforded for a seldom seen fan favorite. Diallo was always a bit of a project coming out of Kansas and now we’re starting to see what a fully formed Cheick Diallo could be. He had 13 points and 15 rebounds in only 23 minutes. My favorite moment? Diallo got fouled, still made the shot and flexed after getting the and-one.
10. Anthony Bleepin’ Davis. 35 points. 13 rebounds. 3 blocks. 2 steals. 55/41/90 slash line. That’s dumb. That’s such an obscene stat line during the 10-game win streak that it should only be possible by Wilt Chamberlin. And yet here’s our face of the franchise, putting up these ridiculous numbers. James Harden may very well end up being the MVP this year, but you’d be hard pressed to convince the best player in basketball doesn’t reside in the Crescent City.
Happy Birthday, AD, and we’re all here for the start of that next win streak!