Tough game. If you’re a Pelicans fan, you’re used to slow starts. Luckily, you’re also used to slightly less slow-starting 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarters. Last night’s first quarter slow start turned into a slow half and eventually a slow game.
The Clippers didn’t play well through either of the first two quarters, but the Pelicans played worse. A lot of the shots were used to seeing fall simply weren’t there tonight, and it seemed like everyone was out of their comfort zone.
Ryan Anderson’s signature 18 foot fade-aways weren’t falling, Gordon’s three pointer wasn’t falling, Ish wasn’t hitting the same hail marry shots he hit against Phoenix, and AD was struggling to find places to operate.
On the other end, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin missed what seemed like 10 combined wide open midrange jumpers to start the game, so you can’t say they simply got hot when the Pelicans were cold.
Nov 27, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Lance Stephenson (center) shoots a layup against New Orleans Pelicans forward Luke Babbitt (left) and forward Alonzo Gee (right) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Still, the Pelicans figured out a way to be outscored by 10 points in the first quarter and nine points in the second. It’s possible they could have tried to mount some kind of comeback, but Chris Paul took AD out the game before the Pelicans could string together any sense of momentum.
It’s still not completely clear to me exactly what CP3 did to AD, but what it looked like was that he ran ahead of him in transition and then abruptly stopped, causing AD to get jammed up, fall, and be forced to leave the floor with a right knee contusion.
Luckily there wasn’t any structural damage, but the fact remains that no matter how hard they try this team simply cannot stay healthy.
I’m not sure CP3 meant to give AD a contusion, but he executed a “move” he has done multiple times in the past and deserves to be blamed for what happened to Davis.
I thought CP3 had done enough by now, having taken away NOLA’s first NBA superstar of the 2000s, but I guess he had to take away their 2nd superstar as well. I’m angry if you can’t tell, partially at CP3 and partially just at the world.
It’s not all that bad though. This game was a disaster and wasn’t worth watching past halftime, but it also came after a three game win streak that has put this team back into post season contention.
However — don’t let the 4-12 record mislead you, the Pelicans could very well still make the playoffs.
Nov 27, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers center Josh Smith (5) dribbles the basketball against New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson (33) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
At this moment, the Pelicans are only three games behind the Jazz to claim the 8th seed. If they beat the Jazz tomorrow, they’ll be just two games behind.
There’s still 60 games and some change to go before this season is over, so don’t pay any attention to anyone who tells you “the Pelicans should just call it quits and tank.”
That’s really all there is to say.
The Pelicans got down early and Chris Paul made sure they stayed there. They’re closer and closer to having a team back that can still make the Playoffs, and should be getting Tyreke Evans back either tomorrow or in the coming week.
This game leaves me asking myself the same question I’ve been asking for weeks:
“I wonder what would have happen if we were healthy”…….