Player Grades: New Orleans Pelicans Can Not Slow Down Boston Celtics in Loss

Jan 7, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) drives on New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) during the second half of the Boston Celtics 117-108 win over the New Orleans Pelicans at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 7, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) drives on New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) during the second half of the Boston Celtics 117-108 win over the New Orleans Pelicans at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans could not slow down the onslaught of Celtics’ three-pointers, as their attempt at a comeback late fell short.

Things have not gotten off to the start the New Orleans Pelicans hoped for on their East Coast Road Trip.

In the first of five straight games away from home against East foes, the Pelicans could not keep the Celtics’ long range shooting at bay, falling 117-108.

New Orleans got off to a great first quarter, scoring 31 points and holding a three-point lead on Boston. The Celtics did not even hold a lead in the game, until just over two minutes in the half.

After that, however, things began to fall apart for the Pelicans.

Boston went on a tear from behind the arc, finishing the game 18-36 from deep. The Celtics went into the second half up four and finished the third quarter up 20.

Even with a spirited 35 point fourth quarter from the Pelicans, it was not enough to erase the damage done.

117. 18. 108. 69. Final

Anthony Davis had a night to remember, scoring 36 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and blocking two shots. Langston Galloway caught fire in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 of his 20 points and burying three shots from deep.

Isaiah Thomas had another massive game against New Orleans, scoring 38 points on 24 shots.

C+. Jrue Holiday had a tough game matched up against Isaiah Thomas. Jrue finished with just 10 points and five assists. The three turnovers and three fouls put a damper on his box score, even with his two steals on defense. It never felt like Jrue could keep up with Thomas or the Celtics as a whole. Early into the game, his passing and playmaking looked great. After his first stint, however, he fell out of focus and could not get back in a smooth groove.. PG. . JRUE HOLIDAY

B-. Buddy Hield is trying to make a difference spacing the floor. He put up nine points on 3-5 shooting from deep. He’s got that part of his game well down. However, he seems terrified to go into the paint and when he does, it’s sloppy and ineffective. His defense is getting there, though opposing teams are still attacking him at will. He’s had great scoring games so far this year, but for those to become a common occurrence, he needs to keep expanding his game.. SG. . BUDDY HIELD

C. If it was not for Solomon Hill’s pay check or his decent defense, there would be a case for him not starting. He’s having a horrific time trying to be a weapon on offense. He doesn’t seem comfortable near the basket, yet can not consistently make shots from far away. He did have an okay defensive night overall, getting his hands in passing lanes on occasion. Still, the expectations set for his game are falling far short.. SF/PF. . SOLOMON HILL

C. Plain and Simple. Dante Cunningham had a BAD game. 0-5 shooting, four fouls and a turnover. Sure, two steals and some pretty good defense helps his case. The problem is he’s a starter on a team that already has an offensive liability on it already. If he’s going to be on that unit, he needs to step up his game. Whether that comes from putting the ball in the basket or helping his teammates get open. He needs to find a way to be a threat on that end.. PF/SF. . DANTE CUNNINGHAM

A. Anthony Davis is still REALLY good at basketball. His 14-22 shooting helped the Pelicans be alive for this game and his 15 rebounds made sure Boston did not blow New Orleans out of the water. AD took full advantage of the smaller Celtics team and went all out. On defense, he did what he could to shut down the Celtics in the paint. They just shot it like crazy from deep. Unfortunately, he did not get much help in the second half to get the Pelicans a chance at a win. It has to be getting even more frustrating every loss for Davis.. C/PF. . ANTHONY DAVIS

PG/SG/SF. . TYREKE EVANS. C+. Tyreke Evans is still working hard to try and get back in his groove on offense. His 1-6 shooting from the floor shows how hard of a time he’s having getting the old pep in his step. He did a good job distributing the ball, finishing with six assists and moving the ball well when he was denied the shot. However, it’s clear this is not the old Reke. It’s going to be a while ’till we see Evans back slicing through defenses.

Wait, Langston Galloway had 20 points and shot 4-8 from behind the arc….C+? Yes. His fourth quarter was great, with 15 of the Pelicans 35 points in the final frame. However, his play in the first three quarters really overshadowed his fantastic fourth. He got caught out of position plenty on defense and could not hit the rim in his time during the second quarter. His defense is becoming a bigger and bigger problem, especially in Boston’s huge run to get right back in control of the game, when they went all out on Galloway’s matchups.. SG/PG. . LANGSTON GALLOWAY. C+

C. E’Twaun Moore has great effort on defense overall and is trying to space the floor for New Orleans. However, his 0-4 shooting from deep tonight did not help the cause. He could not find a way to contribute to the cause tonight and it hurt the Pelicans’ chances of winning.. SF/SG. . E'TWAUN MOORE

TERRENCE JONES. C-. Terrence Jones looked completely out of whack tonight with the new addition making his debut. Jones had a tough matchup against some very good backup bigs on Boston. Still, Terrence could have done more than his four points and one rebound tonight. He never really attempted to attack the Celtics and was left trying to set up his teammates all night. He also got abused on the glass, not doing well boxing out his man and letting the Celtics keep possessions alive.. PF/C.

A-. Well hello there Donatas “Doughnuts” Motiejunas! Donatas had a fantastic showing in his first game on the Pelicans, finishing with 11 points on 4-5 shooting, five rebounds and four assists. He looked fluid on the floor, working well with his teammates and communicating well on the defensive end. While he was not 100% in sync with the offense, his effort and effectiveness against Boston really shined. It’s clear Doughnuts will be a nice addition to the team and could be starting sooner rather than later.. C/PF. . DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS

Other Observations:

  • The Pelicans can not be happy they let a team near the bottom of the league in rebounding win that battle. Boston finished with 15 offensive rebounds and a 47-42 edge on boards. New Orleans did not focus on the glass and it translated on the scoreboard.
  • Sometimes, teams are just going to go nuts from behind the arc. The Celtics took 36 shots from deep and made half of them. It is really tough to beat an opponent shooting the deep ball that efficiently.
  • This is not the start New Orleans hoped for. A game they did well to control out of the gates against Boston, who was on the second of a back-to-back. They failed to hold steady. This is their second straight loss to a team on the second of their b2b. That is certainly a troubling sign, not being able to command games against tired opponents.

Next: Anthony Davis Fourth in Initial NBA All-Star Voting Results

The New Orleans Pelicans will try to get a win on the board for their second game of the road trip, as they travel to New York Monday to play the Knicks. Tip is scheduled for 6:30 PM CST.