New Orleans Pelicans Grades: Pels Lose Track of Rockets

Mar 24, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) reacts after a play during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 24, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) reacts after a play during the fourth quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans held strong for three quarters, but lost track of the Rockets in Houston to snap their three-game winning streak.

Tonight did not go according to plan for the New Orleans Pelicans.

After giving up just 49 points in the first half, the Pels let Houston score 68 points in the second half. New Orleans could not keep up, as the Rockets would hold on to snap the Pelicans three-game win streak.

The Pelicans came into tonight doing well on the rebounding. However, tonight was one of the weakest performances on the boards for New Orleans. The Pelicans lost the rebounding battle by a whopping 59-36 margin. That includes 15 offensive rebounds for Houston.

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Plain and simply, the New Orleans Pelicans did not get the job done.

The duo of Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins combined for 62 points, 22 rebounds, five blocks and four steals. However aside from the duo, the Pels shot 17-42 from the field. While New Orleans’ 14-38 shooting from behind the arc kept them close, they were playing Houston’s up-tempo pace all game.

New Orleans now falls to five games back in the Western Conference. The road to a dream playoff run just got a lot tougher…

169. 107. 69. Final. 117

PG. . TIM FRAZIER. D-. Usually there is something in Tim Frazier’s game to shine light on. Tonight was not that night. Tim shot 0-5 from the field to be held scoreless, with three rebounds and three assists. That stat line in 24 minutes, no matter the reason, is not going to be nearly enough to help a team out. Tim looked outmatched all night and made no real impact on this game. Tough to see him starting long term if he can not find a way to produce.

B. Jrue Holiday did had a pretty good game. Jrue had 18 points on 7-12 shooting and made four of his eight long-range attempts. He also had nine assists, three steals and two blocks. His presence was certainly felt later on in this game, as his long range shooting and defense kept New Orleans competitive. However, he struggled to make much of the Rockets turnovers in transition. While he did a lot of great, beating the Rockets demands the best.. PG. . JRUE HOLIDAY

C. Things looked great again for Solomon Hill, who made three long range looks on the night. However, Hill’s aggression from the last time these teams played was not there tonight. His defense also failed to make a big appearance. This seemed like the same ol’ limited Solomon Hill fans are used to this season. Disappointing.. SF. . SOLOMON HILL

A. Anthony Davis really caught fire in the third quarter, on route to a fantastic performance. Davis finished with 33 points, 16 rebounds and three steals. He did all this on 14-24 shooting and dominated the Rockets with his silky mid-range shot. There was not a lot more A.D. could do. Houston found a way to win. However, marveling the talent level Davis has is something to smile at…always.. PF/C. . ANTHONY DAVIS

DeMarcus Cousins had a tricky game tonight. Performance wise, he did a good job. 29 points on 10-25 shooting with six rebounds and four fouls. The biggest factor for his was late, where Ryan Anderson played “unorthadox” defense on. Anderson seemed to flop, trying to draw offensive fouls on Boogie and get in his head. Give DeMarcus credit, he did not bit on any of Rhino’s tricks. However, his lack of rebounding did hurt the Pelicans. Other than that, good performance.. C. . DEMARCUS COUSINS. B+

SG. . JORDAN CRAWFORD. B-. Jordan Crawford once again eclipsed double-digit scoring, with 12 points on 4-10 shooting and two made long balls. However, his defense became a massive problem in this duel. The Rockets took full advantage of Crawford and pressured his dribble on offense frequently. He still got the ball in the hoop though, which is what he’s here to do.

SF/SG. . E'TWAUN MOORE. C+. E’Twaun Moore did a great job moving the ball around tonight, finishing with six points and five assists. However, his defense was not the spectacular shutdown show we’ve seen before. Moore finished with three fouls and did not look as crisp as he has before. Moore’s been one of the most consistent Pels this year, so tonight was a bit of a surprise.

C. Dante Cunningham took one shot in 25 minutes. One. Sure, he is not on this team to shoot and did have four rebounds. However, when one of the players getting over 20 minutes is not shooting the ball, that becomes a problem on a team focused on spacing. He needs to become a threat, or else he could lose his rotation spot in future seasons.. PF/SF. . DANTE CUNNINGHAM

Final Thoughts

  • Only one thought today here. It’s on Ryan Anderson. This is going to be a hot topic, as Anderson seemed to clearly flop on multiple occasions to try and draw fouls late in this game. Rhino’s an NBA vet. He knows what the refs do in this game. As they say, “Don’t blame the player, blame the game”. His actions tonight did not shine bright, however the league needs to stamp their foot on this fast, if they want it to stop. Unless they do, expect more and more of this from guys lacking physical strength inside the paint.

Next: Did Anthony Davis Get Snubbed from MVP Candidate List?

The New Orleans Pelicans will stay on the road for a “do-or-die” game Sunday night. They will head to Denver, to play the Nuggets. Tip-off is on schedule for 7:00 p.m. CST.