Pelicans Fizzle After Hot Start, Lose to Grizzlies


Since their road loss to the Grizzlies on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Pelicans had been red hot through the first 6 games of their 7 game homestand. That hot streak came to an end last night against those very same Grizzlies, this time in the Smoothie King Center.

The Pelicans were in control early, but lost all momentum as the Grizzlies slowly strangled the Pels before kicking things into another gear in the fourth quarter, ultimately winning 110-95.

Jrue Holiday has been playing some of the best basketball we have seen from him in a Pelicans uniform as of late, but tonight he just could not find the basket. He shot 1-14 from the field, and many of the looks he got were solid ones.

He has been so good recently that it seemed like he would just keep getting better. Ultimately, everyone has a bad night here and there though, and I fully expect Holiday to be back near top form for the next one.

Feb 1, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Vince Carter (15) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) during the second half at the Smoothie King Center. The Grizzlies defeated the Pelicans 110-95. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Grizzlies are 21st in the league in three point percentage and 27th in three pointers made per game. When they finish a night 9-16 from downtown, it is tough to see them leaving with a loss.

They got 3 triples a piece from Jeff Green and Vince Carter off the bench, with Carter’s coming as daggers in the fourth quarter.

The Pelicans defense was not good tonight. Not only was the perimeter coverage spotty, but the paint was basically a turnstile all night long.

The Grizzlies love attacking the paint and derive most of their success from that area, but the Pelicans made life much too easy tonight. Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph bullied their way 36 points on an extremely efficient 17-27 from the field.

By night’s end, Memphis had outscored the Pels 50-32 in the paint.

Despite all that was going wrong, the Pelicans were still in it until mid way through the fourth quarter. A lot of wide open three point attempts were missed, but the final team mark of 10-26 (38.5%) is perfectly acceptable.

Live Feed

Zion Williamson's response to conditioning critiques was classy as heck
Zion Williamson's response to conditioning critiques was classy as heck /


  • Best NBA Odds for Every Game Today (Tuesday, Dec. 12)Betsided
  • Peter’s Points: NBA Best Bets Today (Expert Predictions, Picks for Luka Doncic, Jamal Murray)Betsided
  • Bet365 Louisiana Bonus Code: Win $365 GUARANTEED Betting $1 on Pelicans vs. Timberwolves Today!Pelican Debrief
  • Best NBA Odds for Every Game Today (Monday, Dec. 11)Betsided
  • A disappointing Zion Williamson update could force the Pelicans' handHoops Habit
  • Second chance points were huge as well thanks to 14 offensive rebounds that led to a handful of easy buckets.

    The pursuit of offensive rebounds sometimes left the Pels vulnerable in transition, but the points put up tonight at the very least negated that difference.

    Norris Cole managed to match Anthony Davis’ 23 points tonight for the team high. Cole is usually a good barometer for the success of the Pels offense, but when he is the only guy getting it going it is tough to pull out the win.

    Nonetheless, the season high for him is encouraging, and would have likely been the x-factor in a victory.

    Davis put up his typical stats: 23 points, 9 rebounds, 1 block and 1 steal, but he wound up with a -29 on the court tonight. A lot has to go wrong for Davis on the floor for that number to be so low.

    Stops on defense were few and far between, and while the blame does not fall solely on Davis, he was not as effective as he usually is on that end of the floor.

    Granted, it is hard for anyone to slow down the big bodies of Gasol and Randolph when they are on a roll. Hopefully Davis will continue to build strength and one day be able to battle back down low against the best (and biggest) inside scorers in the league.

    Feb 1, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol (33) shoots over New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) during the first quarter at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

    Alvin Gentry said after the game that the homestand, “was good, but would have been great with a win tonight”.

    And he is absolutely right. The Pelicans finished their stretch at Smoothie King with a 5-2 record, a huge step forward in relation to how poorly the season was playing out beforehand.

    Tonight was a small speedbump, but the overall result is still a success.

    The team will fly to San Antonio to take on the Spurs Wednesday night (7:30 CST). As per usual, the Spurs are among the best teams in the league.

    But, whether you believe it or not, the Pelicans have won 4 of their last 5 matchups against their division rivals.

    Another win on Wednesday could get the team back on the right track and regain the momentum they finally got a taste of over the last couple of weeks…..