New Orleans Pelicans Grades: Pelicans Finish Season With Win Over Blazers

Apr 12, 2017; Portland, OR, USA; New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry reacts to an officials call during the second half of the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. Pelicans won 103-100. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 12, 2017; Portland, OR, USA; New Orleans Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry reacts to an officials call during the second half of the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center. Pelicans won 103-100. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Pelicans found victory tonight in Portland against the Blazers, in their final game of the 2016-2017 NBA season.

Last night would be the final game of the New Orleans Pelicans 2016-2017 season.

What a better way to finish than with a victory?

New Orleans would overcome a seven-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter to defeat the Blazers. The Pelicans held Portland to just 15 points in the final frame, after giving up 30 points or more in the first and third quarters.

This is a big moral boost going into the new season. In a game the youngsters could have checked out of, they fought back and showed up big. Portland had the crowd by their side, much similar to the situation the Lakers loss. However, the New Orleans’ grit helped them shut down Portland’s offense and gain the lead late.

The Blazers’ inability to score was the highlight of the final minutes. Portland scored just seven points in the final eight minutes of tonight’s game. The 19-7 Pelicans run in that time would be the deciding factor.

New Orleans was led by Jordan Crawford in the scoring department. Crawford put up 15 points on 6-12 shooting and hit three long-range looks.

Cheick Diallo also put up a monster game, with 12 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. The Pelicans as a whole showed great balance in scoring tonight. New Orleans had six players in double-digits, while all 11 players who saw the floor made at least one shot.

Shabazz Napier led the Blazers, with 25 points on 10-18 shooting and four rebounds.

TIM FRAZIER. B-. Tim Frazier’s performance at the starting point guard slot was a weird mix. Frazier put up six points on 1-8 shooting and eight assists. His passing, along with the rest of the team, was a huge positive overall. However, this was against Blazer guards that are not well known for their defense. Frazier is a great passer, yet not at the level to be starting in the NBA. His defense was not able to slow down Napier and his lack of size is a growing issue at the NBA level. Still, he will likely be a good backup for next season on the New Orleans Pelicans.. PG.

C+. This offseason for the New Orleans Pelicans does not truly begin until the Jrue Holiday decision is made. Tonight, Jrue had eight points and five assists. Since the DeMarcus Cousins trade, Holiday has looked like a shell of the former player who had Pelicans fans believing he would be the second fiddle to Anthony Davis. Now, there is a legitimate question on if the Pels buy into Holiday for the future. The eyes are now on Dell Demps to make a call.. SG/PG. . JRUE HOLIDAY

Speaking of big questions with the Pelicans, what happened to the Solomon Hill hype preseason? Hill did have 13 points on 4-8 shooting and had a block and a steal to boot. However, his lack of production when his team needs it is a troubling sign. With all the stars sitting out, Hill only mustered up eight shots. That’s not enough from a guy that is put on this team to be a “scorer”. Where he fits into the future is a funky dilemma.. SF/PF. . SOLOMON HILL. B-

Dante Cunningham is likely going to decline his player option and get paid what he deserves this offseason. Cunningham had 10 points and five rebounds in 19 minutes of play. His ability to fill in and provide in whatever role his team needs is an underrated skill. He’s done everything he can and played in countless roles, to aid this team’s chances of winning. If he changes teams this offseason, he will be greatly missed by New Orleans Pelicans fans. His effort was nothing short of incredible in his time here.. PF/SF. . DANTE CUNNINGHAM. B

ALEXIS AJINCA. C+. Alexis Ajinca continues to fill his role on this Pelicans team. Ajinca put up 11 points on 5-12 shooting and grabbed seven rebounds. He’s a scoring big, that can grab boards while he’s at it. Not a bad gig to have at the NBA level. However, his three turnovers, three fouls and shaky defense in his 25 minutes does not help his case for the starting gig goal he set for himself before the season. Unfortunately for Alexis, the trade for DeMarcus Cousins will likely squash any hopes of being an NBA starting center, if he stays on this team for the duration of his contract.. C.

B-. Quinn Cook did look a lot better shooting the ball tonight. Quinn had 12 points on 4-7 shooting and had two steals to go with it. The NBA caliber flashes are there. The offense is showing highlights, when his shot is on. His steals on defense give hope, even with his struggles to stay with his man. Expectations could be him fighting Tim Frazier for the backup point guard slot for the Pelicans next year. That would be one interesting preseason battle for sure.. PG. . QUINN COOK

. JORDAN CRAWFORD. B+. Jordan Crawford is low-key becoming one of the most important pieces to this Pelicans team. Not only did Crawford score 15 points and make three of his four long-range looks, but he had a +20 net rating on the floor tonight. That was by far the best on the team. Crawford’s defense is getting there and his offense is more than enough, with Boogie and Davis commanding the paint to grab the misses. He’s been fantastic. Tonight, his aggression and calm play helped the Pelicans win. Love that.. SG

B-. E’Twaun Moore saw the least amount minutes on the floor of the 11 players for the Pelicans. In 14 minutes, Moore put up three points, two assists and a steal. Still, he was coming back from an injury on the last game of the year. To have someone, who is of great importance to this team, give it his all on the final game of the year without much to play for is a marvel. Moore’s a keeper. Luckily, New Orleans has him under contract for three more years.. SF/SG. . E'TWAUN MOORE

SF/SG. . AXEL TOUPANE. B-. Got it memorized? Axel Toupane showed his scoring prowess tonight, shooting 4-4 from the field for eight points. However, his rust on the defensive end showed, as his committed four fouls in 21 minutes. He has the offensive capabilities the Pelicans want, except for more accuracy from deep. He is a guy that, with more polish, is an NBA caliber player. Keep the name in the back of your mind for the future.

. CHEICK DIALLO. A-. Cheick Diallo is the most exciting rookie the Pelicans have had in a LONG time. Diallo put up 12 points and a NBA high 16 rebounds in tonight’s game, four on the offensive glass. That was in just 29 minutes. Add the fact he stole a pass and blocked a shot, and there’s plenty of reason to be excited about the future of Diallo. Having him behind the core of Davis and Boogie is quite the blanket of growth for the youngster. His game improving is a thing to keep an eye on this offseason.. PF

C+. Donatas Motiejunas led the team with three steals, yet shot just 3-11 from the field for six points. Donatas has shot 23.4 percent from behind the arc this season. Woof. Those numbers will likely put him back on the free agent market this offseason, as the Pelicans look for something different at the backup center spot next season. Still, Donatas’ game and potential should earn him another NBA opportunity elsewhere.. C/PF. . DONATAS MOTIEJUNAS

Next: New Orleans Pelicans Analysis: DeMarcus Cousins, A.K.A. Boogie is King

That’s it folks. The season is over. Thank you to all the fans who have trucked through this New Orleans Pelicans’ season. The next one is going to be exciting and fun to watch. Make sure to stay updated on Pelican Debrief, as we’ll have offseason news and updates from now until the first regular season game in October. For now, let’s give the Pelicans the rest they’ve earned after an exciting win on the road Wednesday night.