New Orleans Pelicans Grades: Pelicans Fall Painfully Short in OT

The New Orleans Pelicans fell painfully short of victory in Toronto, losing in overtime by two to the Raptors.

After holding a 60-46 halftime lead, the New Orleans Pelicans failed to close out their great lead.

While they were able to bring the game into overtime, they fell short after Kyle Lowry drained a ridiculous mid-range jumper with four seconds left.

The Pelicans’ late game execution fell flat and with plenty of chances to win, they could not finish the job.

Jrue Holiday led the charge for New Orleans, with 30 points, two blocks and two steals. Anthony Davis had a painful game all around, with 18 points on 4-18 shooting, to go with 17 rebounds and three blocks. Kyle Lowry led the scoring for Toronto, who was missing shooting guard DeMar DeRozan for the game, with 33 points.

New OrleansPelicans

106

TorontoRaptors

108

Jrue Holiday

PG, New Orleans Pelicans

A+

The New Orleans Pelicans’ lead guard was superb from start to finish tonight. Jrue Holiday made a number of big plays on both ends. Late in regulation, he drove to the rim and missed a layup. But in a showcase of his quick hands and natural defensive instinct, he poked the ball loose from Kyle Lowry, to give the Pelicans the final shot in regulation. Ultimately, they would still lose. Still, it’s those type of plays that signify winning basketball. Holiday would finish with 30 points on 13-21 from the field. He did a great job of picking up the offensive slack and keeping New Orleans in it, until the final whistle.

Buddy Hield

SG, New Orleans Pelicans

B+

Buddy Hield had been in a slump the last four games, but against the Raptors, he broke out of it and displayed the shooting prowess fans were accustomed to seeing last month. Hield knocked down three of his five attempts from behind the arc and even had the touch from mid-range. Defensively, Hield still looks lost. He constantly is late on rotations and allowed dribble penetration all night. But at least for tonight, it did not hurt the team as much, due to Buddy knocking down his shots. The most important take-away was Buddy getting a run in overtime. That is something that has not happened lately, so it was nice to see him get some crunch time minutes.

Solomon Hill

SF, New Orleans Pelicans

C+

Solomon Hill was solid tonight, despite his paltry stat-line. He became the backbone of the Pelicans’ defense with his awesome play. Other than him, the Pels’ defense showed a number of leaks tonight. Hill filled them up and helped keep the Raptors at bay. However, his offense tonight was pedestrian. Hill had been making a decent impact of late as an attacker off the dribble, but tonight fans did not see that. Instead, Hill’s offense was limited to launching threes, as he finished 1-3 from deep, with all of his attempts coming from behind the arc.

Dante Cunningham

F, New Orleans Pelicans

N/A

Dante Cunningham left the game injured after only playing six minutes. He’s been banged up lately, so hopefully its nothing to serious.

Anthony Davis

C, New Orleans Pelicans

D

Anthony Davis was a disappointment tonight. It’s hard not to put this loss on his shoulders. As a leader of the team, he simply did not play well enough. It seems unfair to criticize Davis heavily, as he’s had to carry a heavy burden all year. But shot-making aside, Davis did not display the necessary traits to win a tough game on the road. His final shooting line of 4-18 is horrible for a player of his standards. Even worse, his poor shooting performance affects him on the defensive side of the ball. Davis showcased poor body language throughout, as it was clear the tough night from the field was starting to get him. Even though he made the two-tying baskets late, it’s easy to mention his two missed free-throws in overtime. It was a rare off night for Davis. This team can’t afford these kind of games, if they want to have a chance of winning.

Two clips that perfectly summarize the type of night it was for AD. He just did not have the explosiveness or energy we have been accustomed to seeing.

Side note: I think this is the first time Anthony Davis has been legit dunked on.

Dontas Montiejunas

F/C, New Orleans Pelicans

D-

Dontas Montiejunas was largely irrelevant tonight, after a string of impressive outings. He was beaten on the glass constantly and had trouble, when he was switched onto non-bigs. Montiejunas and Jones will keep battling for those rotation minutes. Tonight, Jones rightly won out that battle.

E’Twaun Moore

G/F, New Orleans Pelicans

A

E’Twaun Moore was nearly the savior tonight. Moore hit five triples in the game, including four in the 4th quarter. He is starting to pick it up from behind the arc and that’s a great sign for the Pelicans. Moore is already one of the Pelicans’ best defenders and now that his shot is starting to fall, he is looking like one of the steals of Free Agency. Still, it is just unfortunate that his 4th quarter out-burst was for naught. Scoring aside though, Moore contributed with six rebounds, including an offensive rebound that lead to Anthony Davis making the tying basket in overtime.

Terrence Jones

F/C, New Orleans Pelicans

C

Terrence Jones continues to add a scoring punch off the bench. It may not always be pretty or fluid, but he’s becoming a somewhat reliable bench scorer. Tonight was no different. Jones finished the game with 12 points on 14 shots, and while it’s not the most efficient scoring in the world, it is effective on most nights. Jones also collected another victim into his “Pump-Fake Wall of Shame”.

Tim Frazier

G, New Orleans Pelicans

D

Tim Frazier got some rare minutes tonight and did not do much to impress with them. His usually sound decision making was off, which can be attributed to rust. Yet it was not much to encourage minutes going forward.

Langston Galloway

G, New Orleans Pelicans

F

Langston Galloway, A.K.A. the three point shooting Norris Cole, was a non-factor tonight. But that’s going to happen most nights, where he’s not bombing three-point shots. He missed all five of his attempts from behind the arc in the game.

The New Orleans Pelicans will look to bounce back from a disappointing defeat tomorrow when they travel to Detroit to take on the Pistons. Tip is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. EST.

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