New Orleans Pelicans Grades: Pelicans Fall Short Against Thunder

Feb 26, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Tim Frazier (2) moves to the basket in front of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Doug McDermott (25) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 26, 2017; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Tim Frazier (2) moves to the basket in front of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Doug McDermott (25) during the second quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans kept it close all game, yet fell short at the end of their loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, their third loss in a row.

Even thought tonight was a closer contest, the New Orleans Pelicans could not get the job.

The Pelicans lost their third straight game in a row after the Trade Deadline, losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder 118-110.

After keeping the game close for three straight quarters, the wheels fell off for New Orleans. Even with their 37 free throw attempts in the game, they fell short on the defensive end. The Pels gave up 37 free-throw attempts of their own. Their poor defense let the thunder shoot 47.7 percent from the field and command the game.

Foul trouble was huge for New Orleans, as DeMarcus Cousins fouled out at a key moment of the game. Boogie only played 21 minutes tonight, but still had 31 points and 10 rebounds. Anthony Davis finished the leader in scoring for the Pels, with 38 points and seven boards.

Russell Westbrook led the Thunder with a triple-double of 41 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

110. 69. Final. 118. 149

C-. Jrue Holiday is not playing to his old level since the All-Star Break. Jrue once again had a horrid game, scoring just six points. He also had eight assists and five turnovers. This style of offense is a struggle to adjust to, for a guy who seemed to thrive in a high-tempo, spread feel. There are questions to be had if he’s the right point to fit, now that DeMarcus Cousins changes the gameplan. Still, he can play better than he is now.. PG. . JRUE HOLIDAY

. HOLLIS THOMPSON. C. It’s tough to tell if Hollis Thompson has gotten to show what he can do for the Pels. He did make two long balls on the night, accounting for most of his seven points. However, his defense is a bit off-balance and his movement off-ball is near non-existent. He’s got a lot to grow, in order to keep a big role on this team.. SG

SOLOMON HILL. C-. Solomon Hill is a good defender that is not showing enough on the offensive end to merit his contract. He did have two steals, but his lack of any production on the offensive end is an issue. He did have one good dribble move, that drew a foul. Outside of that, his long-range shooting is putrid so far this year. The biggest disappointment of the year is not changing that motto so far.. SF.

A-. Anthony Davis continues to be a monster. 24 first-quarter points is now the franchise high for points scored in a single quarter of play. He did his part tonight for sure. It is great to see him crash the offensive glass the way he did tonight with Boogie. His time at the center was evident with a lot of offensive rebounds for the Thunder. It’s clear he’s a power forward. The fit with Cousins should be much smoother, with a better rotation around him.. PF. . ANTHONY DAVIS

B+. DeMarcus Cousins has to be a nightmare to guard for opposing teams. Boogie was a monster inside the paint, whether it was on the offensive or defensive end. The problem is his fouling. He did only play 21 minutes, because he got six fouls so fast. He does seem a bit slow with his reactions to quicker players attacking on him. It’s tough in a game like this one, where the refs did not let any contact go without a foul. Rough game. Though he was money from the free-throw line tonight, which is a huge positive.. C. . DEMARCUS COUSINS

Where has the Tim Frazier from the beginning of the season gone? He had no real factor in his ball distribution, as the slower offense seemed to limit his potential to swing the game. His defense is not his strongest suit, due to his size. It’s getting tougher and tougher for him to make an impact, especially with the pace New Orleans is playing at.. PG. . TIM FRAZIER. C-

SG/SF. . E'TWAUN MOORE. B+. It was quite an interesting decision for Alvin Gentry to bring E’Twaun Moore off the bench tonight. He did have 10 points and four steals. The idea of him helping a bench unit having massive problems scoring is a nice idea. It helped in the stretches New Orleans had to sit both their stars. However, he can not do everything for the reserves. He did all he could tonight. Just not enough.

DANTE CUNNINGHAM. C. Dante Cunningham is a good effort player. However, his lack of marksman shooting is a problem, with what the Pelicans need on a nightly basis. He did make one of his two open threes. However, it is not consistent enough for him to be seen as a threat by other teams. Having him on a bench unit lacking many playmakers does not help that either. He’s in a really tough role.. SF/PF.

C. Donatas Motiejunas is really trying to make a difference. However, his lack of pure strength is making it harder and harder for him to be a center in this system. He played a bunch of minutes, yet is having a hard time finding his comfort zone in this offense. It’s hard when it changes so fast. His defense was not enough, against the mammoths of OKC either. Difficult game for Donuts.. C/PF. . DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS

INC. Alexis Ajinca saw the floor tonight, with Cousins’ foul troubles. The last game he played was 11 days ago. The situation on this team has to be really tough for Ajinca, who had aspirations to start for New Orleans in the preseason. Now, he’s an emergency option being asked to be a space shooter cold off the bench. That can not be easy.. C. . ALEXIS AJINCA

Other Observations:

  • The New Orleans Pelicans fan base is hitting the panic button of late. This is difficult for everyone involved. Learning over halfway through the season the team is going to change their offense, scheme and personnel is very difficult. While the wins are not coming, the improvement is. Tonight was much better than their past two games. While time is not on their side, neither are the circumstances. Patience, New Orleans…Patience.

Next: New Orleans Pelicans Waive Omri Casspi, Sign Reggie Williams

The New Orleans Pelicans will look to calm that panic at home Wednesday night. They will stay home, to host the Detroit Pistons. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. CST.