New Orleans Pelicans Grades: Pelicans Blow Past Orlando Magic

The New Orleans Pelicans found their offensive rhythm in the transition game and blew past the Orlando Magic for a big home win.

The New Orleans Pelicans returned home from their road trip facing a bit of uncertainty.

Anthony Davis‘ health had been in question, after he was forced to leave the game against Indiana early. Fortunately, Davis would be healthy enough to play and he spearheaded the Pelicans to an easy victory over the Orlando Magic.

Fans faced another brief Anthony Davis scare, when he returned to the locker room with a hand injury in the first half. Thankfully, Davis’ X-Rays were negative and he made his way to the team bench mid-way through the quarter.

He finished the game with 21 points and 14 rebounds to lead his team. Six different Pelicans finished the game in double-digit points. New Orleans set a season high in fast break points for a game this season, with 38 in the contest.

It is a big win for the Pelicans, as this game began a six-game homestand.

New Orleans Pelicans

118

Orlando Magic

98

Jrue Holiday

PG, New Orleans

B

The New Orleans Pelicans’ Point Guard provided a steady influence throughout the game. Holiday was constantly probing the defense, making a number of terrific passes to find open teammates . He even knocked down his jump-shots. to add an exclamation point to his solid game. Holiday finished 6-13 from the field, good for 14 points and five assists. Those numbers are right near his season averages, but his presence was felt throughout the game. Defensively, Holiday gave the Magic fits, with his ability to switch. It gave Magic ball-handlers little room to find space for a pass.

Buddy Hield

SG, New Orleans Pelicans

C+

The rookie has had better days shooting the ball no doubt, but despite his paltry stat-line, (3-11 shooting, 2-8 from deep for 10 points) it was easy to be impressed in the quality of shots he was taking. Hield could have easily had 20 tonight if his shot was on, but he did a better job of creating for his teammates. That’s a trait we have yet to see a whole lot of from Hield. Often times when his primary option is not available for a pass, he will force a step-back or pass it back out for a reset. Against the Magic, he found secondary cutters and trailers more often than not. It was a welcome progression. Defensively Hield still gets lost, often being late for a rotation. But with his limited minutes, it does not kill the Pelicans, provided they are scoring.

Solomon Hill

SF, New Orleans Pelicans

C+

Solomon Hill continues to do his no offense, great defense thing. His scoring output of five points, is what it is nowadays. The expectation is for him to provide some stinker performances on that end. Tonight was one of the instances, though where his defense made up for his lackluster offense.

Dante Cunningham

F, New Orleans Pelicans

A

Dante Cunningham was brilliant on both ends for the Pelicans. Obviously the scoring stands out with him producing 14 points on 7-11 shooting, but the way he ran the floor all game was tremendous. The Pelicans were able to get out in transition and Dante Cunningham was the beneficiary. Whether he was cleaning up missed chances with put-backs, rim running for easy dunks or spotting up from behind the arc, Cunningham was finding space for quality looks. Defensively he was locked in. Cunningham and Solomon Hill are forming a great chemistry on that end of the floor, and they completely disrupted the Magic all night.

Anthony Davis

C, New Orleans Pelicans

A

If not for an injury in the second quarter and the Pelicans blowing out the Magic, we could be talking about another off the wall stat-line for Anthony Davis. The New Orleans Pelicans’ superstar instead finished with a modest stat-line of 21 points on 9-17 shooting, with 14 rebounds and four assists. All of this done in 29 minutes of work. Most impressively from Davis tonight was his domination on the defensive glass, as he held Magic brusier Nikola Vucevic to zero offensive rebounds. With Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca being out of the rotation, Davis has shouldered the rebounding load single handily. He has become one of the best glass eaters in the NBA, all the while anchoring a top-10 defense. That’s arguably more impressive than his ridiculous offensive numbers, as Davis is becoming the all-around superstar many envisioned he would be.

Tyreke Evans

G/F, New Orleans Pelicans

A+

Tyreke Evans was simply unstoppable against the Orlando Magic. He “Reke’d Havoc” all over the place, showcasing why he can be such a tough cover for opposing NBA players. During the second quarter, Reke was getting to the rim with relative ease. The Magic defenders were helpless at stopping his dribble penetration. Evans would then either finish an easy layup or find a shooter in the corner for an open three. In the second half Tyr3k3 3vans was born, as he nailed three triples in the 4th quarter to drive the final nail into the Magic coffin. Evans looks very comfortable taking the three point shot this year, and generally looks to be back to his old self.

E’Twaun Moore

G, New Orleans Pelicans

B-

E’Twaun Moore continues to provide solid minutes for the Pelicans off the bench. Against the Magic, he had nine points on seven shots. Also, Moore has been shooting the ball much better recently, indicating that he may have gotten past his earlier shooting struggles. Moore had some strange shot selection on some his misses, but overall his play was encouraging and he is a main-stay among the rotation.

Langston Galloway

G, New Orleans Pelicans

B

Greenlight Galloway had his best performance of 2017, flashing the hot shooting that has made him a fan favorite in New Orleans. His minutes have been up and down lately, so it has been tough for him to get in a rhythm offensively. Still, Langston was up to his old tricks against Orlando. Galloway knocked down four triples and four free-throws, to finish with 18 points. His resurgence was the exclamation point on a dominant offensive night for the Pelicans.

Terrence Jones

F/C, New Orleans Pelicans

C

Terrence Jones was unspectacular in this game. His offense was ho-hum, but it was not really relied on, due to the hot-shooting of Tyreke Evans and E’Twaun Moore. Actually, the most impressive thing from Terrence tonight was his help defense, as he read a number of the Magic plays as they happened, which altered their offensive rhythm. More importantly than that, he got 18 minutes to Dontas Motiejunas’ three minutes. At the moment, its Terrence Jones spot lose.

Tim Frazier

PG, New Orleans Pelicans

N/A

Garbage Time Fodder. It’s sad watching him come to this because it’s easy to like watching him play.

Donatas Montiejunas

PF/C, New Orleans Pelicans

N/A

What a Time! After a scintillating first couple of games, Donatas Montiejunas has found himself out of the rotation. He’s been very poor defensively, but its very shocking to see him already out of the rotation.

The New Orleans Pelicans will look to continue the home court winning fever, as they play Friday night against the Brooklyn Nets. Tip is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. CST.

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