New Orleans Pelicans Grades: Pels Comeback to Beat San Antonio Spurs at Home

Jan 27, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) drives past San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the first quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 27, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday (11) drives past San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the first quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans went nuts in the second half, spurring a comeback performance for the ages to beat the San Antonio Spurs 119-103.

What a win tonight by the New Orleans Pelicans.

Many have called this team a “Jekyll and Hyde” squad, that shows up one game out of sorts and then the next blazing. Well, it can be called building camaraderie and still learning the system. Tonight the Pelicans came ready and fought back down from a nine-point deficit at halftime to win.

The star player of the night was Jrue Holiday. Holiday had an amazing performance in playing sound basketball. He got his teammates open for easy shots and played his defender well.

While Anthony Davis didn’t have big night offensively, he made up for it by grabbing 22 rebounds.

The ball was moving tonight from side-to-side for the best shot. Great game by the Pels.

29. 119. 69. Final. 103

PG. . JRUE HOLIDAY. A+. Tonight’s performance from Jrue Holiday was spectacular. He played excellent defense on Kawhi, stifled Parker, controlled the tempo of the offensive end and most importantly made good shots for 23 points. Jrue was very effective in the mid-range area of the floor and attacking the basket off the dribble. His energy was outstanding tonight, getting after loose balls and chasing the opposing team’s player down for the mega block. Also, he dished out 11 assists! The Pelicans need this type of performance consistently from him, in order to compete for the eighth seed. Great game Jrue!

C-. Buddy is still coming into his own. It’s pretty difficult to get into a rhythm, when you have veteran players taking minutes and playing effectively in them. He shows promise as being an outside threat, by garnering attention when the ball was kicked out. However, he has to work on defense, primarily his footwork. Buddy needs to dig deeper into his stance and slide more, while keeping his body into the defender. Danny Green was beating him off the dribble a lot tonight, which made Coach Gentry pull him for E’twaun Moore. He still has a way to go, but no need to be worried about his development too much.. SG. . BUDDY HIELD

A. This was probably the best performance by Solomon all year. He’s getting more comfortable in the system and his shot as the season progresses. Tonight, he finished with 16 points off of 5-7 shooting from behind the arc and six rebounds. It was very good seeing him attack the boards and getting his body on the Spurs bigs, to either grab the rebound or allow A.D. to get it.. SF/PF. . SOLOMON HILL

B. Dante has been Mr. Reliable when it comes to fulfilling his role as a hustle, energy player that gives good minutes to the starting lineup. He played a solid game tonight in passing the ball out to the top of the key, to reset the possession and did well slashing to the rim.. PF/SF. . DANTE CUNNINGHAM

A. Anthony Davis gets an A not necessarily on the offensive end, but what he did tonight on the defensive side of the ball. Davis grabbed a whopping 22 rebounds and played the best defense you can do on a guy with LaMarcus Aldridge’s stature. Moving A.D. to the center position was the right move for this franchise and he is thriving in it. It would be wise to move him around on switches consistently, so that he won’t get beat up as much on bigger opponents. Still, he proved he can handle his own against one of the better frontcourt players in the league. And yes, he still tallied 16 points.. C/PF. . ANTHONY DAVIS

C/PF. . DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS. A+. It is great to have a post player that makes everybody better when he’s on the floor. It was easy to love his communication in calling for the ball and pointing guys to go to their assigned spots on the floor. He was relentless tonight in grabbing rebounds and running the floor. He fits perfectly in the system.

PF. . TERRENCE JONES. A+. Terrence Jones brought it again tonight, by playing within himself. When he’s hot, he is smoking! His energy was infectious with put-backs, shooting open shots and doing the shoulder shimmy. He finished the evening with 21 points and seven rebounds. If he keeps this up, he needs his own bobble-head, where the head stands still and only the shoulders shake.

E'TWAUN MOORE. A. E’twaun has become a steady force for the Pelicans’ bench unit. He’s excellent on defense and has mastered the pump-fake, with the up-and-under move near the paint. He’s by far been the most underrated signing of New Orleans’ offseason.. SF/SG.

A. Tyreke was effective tonight in breaking down the defender and getting to the rim, seemingly at will. He found the open guy a few times and did some spectacular moves at the rim to finish. Can not wait to see Evans when he gets 100 percent healthy and gets the total package down.. PG/SG/SF. . TYREKE EVANS

LANGSTON GALLOWAY. D. Galloway was cold tonight. But that is okay. It happens sometimes.. SG.

Final Observations

  • The Pelicans showed tonight that they can compete with one of the best teams in the Western Conference. This was a strong performance in all.
  • The Pelicans need to work on fast breaks. They missed too many opportunities in this area.
  • The Pelicans need to play like this on a nightly basis.

Next: New Orleans Pelicans: Dispatch From the Blender, Bandwagon Fans Edition

The New Orleans Pelicans will look for another monster win versus a streaking team Sunday afternoon. They will stay home to host the Washington Wizards. Tip is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. CST.