New Orleans Pelicans Grades: Pelicans Find Win Versus Lakers

Mar 3, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) walks with forward DeMarcus Cousins (0) as guard Jrue Holiday (11) looks on during the fourth quarter of a game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Smoothie King Center. The Spurs defeated the Pelicans 101-98 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) walks with forward DeMarcus Cousins (0) as guard Jrue Holiday (11) looks on during the fourth quarter of a game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Smoothie King Center. The Spurs defeated the Pelicans 101-98 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans traveled to Los Angeles looking for their first win with newly acquired big man DeMarcus Cousins.

The New Orleans Pelicans came into the game against the Los Angeles Lakers, seeking their first win with DeMarcus Cousins in the lineup.

New Orleans was finally able to get the monkey off of the backs, despite losing a 14-point 4th quarter lead.

The Pelicans were in prime position to get a blowout win and garner some extra rest, before having to face the Utah Jazz. However,  that was not in the cards. Although it may have not been perfect or even pretty, New Orleans was able to hold on and get the win, to avoid embarrassment. Below are the player grades from the game versus the Lakers.

A+. Jrue Holiday was the best back court player on the floor tonight and it was not even close. Facing a lowly Lakers team with no perimeter stoppers, Jrue Holiday was able to penetrate the paint with ease. Whether he would slip in slick pocket passes to Anthony Davis or probe the lane for a soft floater, Jrue was on it against the Lakers. It was a match-up he should exploit and he delivered. This is not even mentioning the big fourth quarter three that he made, to seal the Lakers’ fate in this game. His fingerprints were all over this win, evidenced by his stellar stat-line of 20 points, five rebounds and 12 assists on an efficient 7-12 shooting. It was Holiday’s best game since the All-Star break and gave a glimpse of the “Big 3” potential.. PG. New Orleans Pelicans. JRUE HOLIDAY

F. Just being announced that he was being brought back for a second ten-day contract, Hollis Thompson failed to impress. Outside of a few nice steals, he failed to really add anything to a team in desperate need of some scoring burden. In 25 minutes of action, Hollis Thompson missed all four of his attempts to finish with one single point. When he was signed, it was thought that he would be able to at least knock down some open threes. However, that has not been the case in New Orleans, where he is shooting pitifully from everywhere. If his poor shooting continues, it will be a surprise to see New Orleans sign him for the rest of the year.. SG. New Orleans Pelicans. HOLLIS THOMPSON

SOLOMON HILL. F. As was the problem with Thompson, Solomon Hill simply is not bringing enough to the table. Yes, he does good things for the team. Hill is not the useless player that he tends to be made out to be, but he is also a non-factor on offense. Teams pay no attention to him on the perimeter, allowing for easy help inside. That happens because opposing teams are okay with Hill burning them occasionally. Hill’s lack of a consistent shot making ability almost cost the Pelicans late. He missed three wide open three-point attempts that would have put the Lakers away. Solomon Hill is getting fantastic looks, but until he can knock them down consistently, spacing will continue to be an issue for the Pelicans. Hill’s final stat-line reads as five points , six rebounds, 2-8 shooting from the field and 1-6 from three. So in a nutshell, the Pelicans wings combined for six points and nine rebounds on 2-12 from the field. That is not good enough at all.. SF. New Orleans Pelicans

PF. New Orleans Pelicans. ANTHONY DAVIS. A. Anthony Davis was his traditionally stellar self tonight. He was hitting shots from all over the floor and just abused any match up the Lakers tried to throw at him. He was too quick for nearly all of them, as he constantly forced his way inside for easy buckets. It was a great thing to watch, because at times Anthony Davis can fall in love with the mid-range jumper. But tonight, he maintained a very good balance on when to drive or when to pull up. Defensively, his length affected the Lakers’ willingness to attempt shots inside. The Laker-bigs looked very tentative to force shots around Davis, who was rotating very well all game. Not sure if there’s more to say than just another day at the office for Anthony Davis. His final line reads as 31 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

A. DeMarcus Cousins can breathe easy now. His 26 points and three made three-pointers helped the team to its first win with him in the lineup. Just watching this team, you get the sense that him and Anthony Davis could be a special tandem. The presence of Boogie has given New Orleans a new dynamic, and that is still without complex sets even being implemented. Every game, it is evident the impact Cousins has on the offensive glass or anchoring the second unit. For example, entering the 4th quarter, the Lakers were down 10 and it went to 14 quickly, due to Boogie just punishing the Lakers reserves. The only thing that held him back from an even better game was sadly himself, as he fouled out for the second time as a Pelican. DeMarcus needs to find ways to eliminate picking cheap fouls, because he is way too important to the team to be constantly in foul trouble. Whether that means limiting the amount of charge attempts, it is something that must be addressed.. C. New Orleans Pelicans. DEMARCUS COUSINS

B. E’Twaun Moore continues to be a model for inconsistency. He was great against the Lakers, finishing with 13 points on 5-9 from the field. It is just frustrating, because if he puts up around that output against the Spurs, it is highly likely the Pelicans win that game as well. But overall solid game from E’Twaun Moore, who has adopted the 6th man role for the Pelicans.. G/F. New Orleans Pelicans. E'TWAUN MOORE

D. Add Dante Cunningham to the list of disappointing wing players. Dante finished the game going 2-6 from the field and 1-4 from behind the arc. Although Dante has improved his three-point shooting, he does not really bring much to any offense besides that ability to knockdown corner threes. If he is missing them though, like he was tonight, then Cunningham is pretty much a non-factor offensively.. SF/PF. New Orleans Pelicans. DANTE CUNNINGHAM

N/A. In very limited minutes, Alexis Ajinca finished 0-3 from the field and did not do much else. He did not foul though, so kudos.. C. New Orleans Pelicans. ALEXIS AJINCA

Tim Frazier also did not play much in this game. He finished the game with a grand total of 11 minutes and the only lasting impact he had was getting his shot completely eradicated at the hands of Corey Brewer.. G. New Orleans Pelicans. TIM FRAZIER. N/A

Next: New Orleans Pelicans Pod-Cap: Pels Survive On The Road In Win Versus Los Angeles Lakers

Final Thoughts:

No rest for the weary as tonight the Pelicans face a very tough challenge against the Utah Jazz on the road. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. CST