New Orleans Pelicans Grades After a Sloppy Loss to the Chicago Bulls


The New Orleans Pelicans could not overcome a sloppy performance in Chicago, snapping their three game winning streak in a loss to the Bulls.

The New Orleans Pelicans had a chance to extend their winning streak to three, going into tonight’s contest with the Chicago Bulls.

Unfortunately, poor shooting and sloppy play on the glass was too much to overcome.

The Bulls completely dominated the rebound battle tonight, finishing with a 63-42 edge on the Pels. Chicago did massive damage on the offensive glass, finishing with a whopping 21 offensive rebounds. Robin Lopez alone had nine against his former team.

With New Orleans shooting 7-23 shooting from behind the arc, things were difficult for the Pelicans all day.

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Anthony Davis put up a great performance once again, with 36 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. E’Twaun Moore was the shining star off the bench, with 16 points on 6-9 shooting and four three-pointers made.

The Pelicans had no answer for Jimmy Butler, who put up a line of 28 points, eight boards, six assists and four steals. Dwyane Wade helped cap the win for Chicago, with 16 points in the fourth quarter alone.

As we’ve seen over the past 2-3 weeks, Alvin Gentry has gone to a small-ball lineup. This means Anthony Davis manning the Center position, while utilizing a combination of Solomon Hill or Dante Cunningham at the power forward position.

While this has proven to be efficient offensively, it has its limitations on the defensive end, primarily on the glass. Anthony Davis still doesn’t have the girth to bang in the post against bigger centers throughout the game.

Tonight’s game was a prime example of the small-ball lineup not being effective against a much more physical and larger team. The Chicago Bulls got a solid portion of their points on second chance attempts and offensive rebounds. The lack of boxing out proved just as big an issue as their lack of size.

The lack of effort on defense became another problem. There were too many times the Bulls had open lanes straight to the rim. The perimeter defense was porous, as well as paint presence against the likes of Taj Gibson and even Robin Lopez.

Alvin Gentry might look back at bringing Omer Asik into the rotation when opposing teams play big.

107. 24. 99. 69. Final

C-. This might be one of Jrue’s worst games of the year. Sure, 12 assists does help the cause a lot. However, he put up 1 point, shot 0-7 from the field and was thrown around the court by Michael Carter-Williams. He looked lost in the offense and could not make a real impact on defense, likely because of the Bulls’ game run through the paint. Still, this was a great chance at a huge game, against a younger point. He did not get it done on either end.. PG. . JRUE HOLIDAY

. BUDDY HIELD. C-. Buddy did not have a good game. Shooting 1-5 from the field and struggling on defense, when dealing with his switches onto Chicago’s bigs. It’s no wonder Alvin Gentry went with the hot hand in Moore instead of playing Hield more than 12 minutes.. SG

B-. This may be very strange to say, but Solomon Hill is starting to be a good offensive player. While his long-range shot is still searching for consistency, he is driving to the basket more and more with authority. 10 points from him will do and his defense was pretty good. Jimmy Butler’s just a tough matchup for Hill.. SF/PF. . SOLOMON HILL

B. Terrence Jones put up the stats tonight, with nine points, eight rebounds and three blocks in 34 minutes. However, he looked completely out-muscled inside the paint by Taj Gibson. He never spaced the floor on offense and could not keep the Bulls’ bigs off the offensive glass. It was weird to see him matched with Davis in the starting lineup, specifically against one of the strongest teams in the paint size-wise.. PF. . TERRENCE JONES

A-. Anthony Davis put up the stats for sure. 36 points on 14-23 shooting and 10 free-throw attempts drawn. Offensively, he was a beast. Defensively, he did have three blocks and 14 rebounds. The problem was his lack of strength against the bigs of Chicago on the glass. Still, there’s not much more you can ask of Davis in a game like this. Grit-and-Grind teams have always given AD trouble and the Bulls fit that bill.. C/PF. . ANTHONY DAVIS

C+. Tyreke Evans is trying so hard to be the old, aggressive Tyreke. However, he’s not healthy enough to do what he did in the past. While he kept the bench unit flowing at times with his driving ability, he missed many open layups at the rim. It cost the Pelicans valuable points they needed. If he’s healthy, he probably makes three or four more of his layups. Tough stretch for Reke.. PG/SG/SF. . TYREKE EVANS

C-. Langston Galloway took two shots in 14 minutes. For a guy who is suppose to be a go-to offensive weapon off the bench, that is just not enough.. SG/PG. . LANGSTON GALLOWAY

A-. When the game seemed out of reach, E’Twaun Moore kept the Pelicans afloat. Moore finished with 16 points and made four of his five three-point shots. He did his best on defense, but his offensive output really did the trick. It helped cut what was once a 15-point deficit in this game to just one. Great offensive explosion for Moore against his old team.. SF/SG. . E'TWAUN MOORE

C+. Dante Cunningham can be great in situations where he can be an effective stretch four. Tonight is not one of those cases, as the Bulls’ massive bigs gave Cunningham huge problems on the defensive glass. He did have five rebounds, yet got caught trying to box out a big he had no chance of keeping off the glass.. PF/SF. . DANTE CUNNINGHAM

C/PF. . DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS. C. Just seven minutes of play tonight for Donuts, who managed 2 points and two boards. It’s an oddly quiet night for a guy, who seemed like a decent play against a bigger front of Chicago.

Other Observations:

  • The Pelicans did shoot the ball inside the three-point line pretty well tonight. New Orleans made 32 of their 61 two-point shots, over 50% on the night. However, their struggles on the glass let Chicago shoot 17 more shots in the game. That was the deciding factor for sure.
  • With the road stretch near it’s end, the Pelicans enter their fifth straight game away from home 2-2 in this trip. With only one more game away before returning home, winning the next one is a big one. To take a positive record out of a five-game road trip could turn the tides on the season.

Next: Is Tyreke Evans' Minute Restriction Gone After Explosion Against the Nets?

The New Orleans Pelicans will look to end the road trip on a high note on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. They will head to Indiana to play the Pacers Monday Afternoon. Tip is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. CST.