New Orleans Pelicans Grades: Pels Survive Mavericks At Home


The New Orleans Pelicans held firm late after playing a spectacular first half, en route to defeating the Dallas Mavericks at home Wednesday night.

While it was not pretty, tonight was still a much needed win for the New Orleans Pelicans’ morale.

New Orleans had a lead as high as 10 in the second half, yet nearly let the Mavericks steal the game. Dallas even took the lead in the fourth quarter at one point. However, the Pelicans’ defense stood tall late and New Orleans found enough baskets to win the game.

The Pelicans shot over 50 percent from behind the arc tonight, making 14 of their 27 long ball attempts. They also won the battle of free throws, earning 33 attempts to the Mavs 17. Still, New Orleans missed eight of those attempts, while Dallas only missed on one.

More from Pelicans News

The Pelicans saw most of their scoring from their big three. Jrue HolidayAnthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins combined for 77 of the Pelicans’ 121 points. For those wondering, the other two starters combined for nine points total. On the other hand, Dallas saw eight players score at least seven points in the game. All of the Mavericks’ 11 players who saw action scored a basket tonight. To give the Pels’ credit, the same went for all eight of their guys in action.

Anthony Davis did beat out DeMarcus Cousins in scoring, but not by much. Davis finished with 30 points, 13 rebounds and two steals. Cousins would finish with 29 points, 16 rebounds and six assists. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 23 points, seven assists and a block.

69. Final. 118. 79. 121

TIM FRAZIER. C+. Tim Frazier is the constant example of what happens to a player who needs the ball to play his best, when he’s on the floor with three superstars. Frazier becomes kind of a forgotten player on the floor, as Davis and Boogie post up and Jrue finds his looks. His defense looked okay tonight, mostly due to Dallas’ smaller guards. However, it’s still an issue against quicker players that have a long-range shot. Frazier’s trying, don’t get that wrong. He’s just struggling to find a role in this starting lineup.. PG.

B+. Jrue Holiday had a pretty darn good game. His defense was great in the first half, contesting all the shots of Seth Curry. He put the youngster in a tough spot. While his defense fell off a bit in the second half, his offensive game made up for it. Jrue put up 18 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two blocks from the first half. This was a game that will bring Jrue some much needed confidence, going into the final stretch of the season.. PG. . JRUE HOLIDAY

SF/PF. . SOLOMON HILL. C. Solomon Hill looked completely outmatched in every facet of the game by Harrison Barnes. Hill’s aggression and confidence looked non-existent tonight. Solo shot 2-7 from the field, got four boards and committed three fouls in 36 minutes. Those numbers do not help this team stay in games. His minutes in the second half were painful, as the Mavs took full advantage of the defensive woes of the team in general. Not a great game from Solo.

. ANTHONY DAVIS. A. Even with Boogie’s return, Anthony Davis looks like the dominant big as he has been over the entire year. Davis took full advantage of Dallas’ lack of athletic bigs to guard him, scoring and grabbing boards at will. Give Dirk credit for making him work on defense. He’s a legend and does that on everyone matched up against him. A.D. is just a whole new animal that is nearly unstoppable in this league.. PF/C

Speaking of unstoppable, the Mavericks really don’t have any post-presence centers either. That’s where DeMarcus Cousins found his home in the paint. Not only was he a monster on the boards and scoring inside, his passing ability really shined tonight. Not only was he able to command the paint, but he passed out of it when the Mavs pressured him and found the open man enough for six assists. Great night for Boogie to show the entire array of his game. Future looks bright in New Orleans.. C. . DEMARCUS COUSINS. A

B. Jordan Crawford gets buckets. Once again, Crawford put up double-digit scoring, with 15 points on 5-7 shooting. He only saw 20 minutes, so he was looking to score on every opportunity. That’s his story on the court. Speaking of same stories with Crawford, his defense was not good. However, his offense continues to make up for it…in a way. He’s fun to watch and that’s what matters.. SG. . JORDAN CRAWFORD

B-. E’Twaun Moore’s shooting has taken a dip over the past few games. His 1-7 stint tonight continues to show his strain to get the ball into the basket. However, his defense did make an impact in a game the Pelicans needed it. Moore had a block and a steal, getting at it on every defensive possession. This team really looks to Moore as the bench leader and his defensive effort shows why.. SF/SG. . E'TWAUN MOORE

B+. Marksman Dante Cunningham Is Back! Dante really made his mark shooting the ball tonight, finishing 6-8 from the field and 3-5 from behind the arc for 15 points. It was not only his defense tonight, as he also got two steals on the bigs of Dallas. Cunningham is seen more as an effort guy, but the Pelicans ask him to space the floor too. Dante is definitely a streaky shooter. When he’s off, he will stop shooting. However when he’s on, he’ll make it rain for New Orleans. They needed it tonight. Much appreciated, Dante.. PF/SF. . DANTE CUNNINGHAM

Final Thought:

  • These final games for the New Orleans Pelicans are a growing process still. Tonight’s win might seem minor, but showing DeMarcus Cousins what this team can become is big. New Orleans wants to make the playoffs next year and turn a roster of fun players, into a contender. The first step to that is learning how to win and how to win often. If the Pelicans can end this year on a solid run of wins, next year could be in line for something special.

Next: The New Orleans Pelicans Playoff Push & What It Means Long Term

The New Orleans Pelicans will continue the search for late season wins Friday night. They will stay home to host the Sacramento Kings, in Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway and Tyreke Evans’ first games back in New Orleans since the trade. Tip-off is on schedule for 7:00 p.m. CST.