The Pelicans have a bad habit of losing focus for 3-4 minute stretches where they get sloppy with the ball and commit turnovers. The Pelicans finished the game with 17 turnovers as a team, and while some of this was due to the Thunder’s stifling half court defense, many were of the “oops, my bad” variety. Lonzo Ball had a few spectacular passes in the game, including a floater to Jrue Holiday as he cut to the basket, but he also had a few head-scratching turnovers, ending with four to lead the team.
When the Pelicans turned it over the Thunder made them pay, ending the game with a 24-9 advantage on points off of turnovers. The Thunder also had a 19-10 advantage in fast break points, many of them coming off turnovers. This is a statistic that the Pelicans should normally win, and was a big part of why they lost the game.
New Orleans is a young team that ran into the wily veteran squad that knows how to do the little things to win, including getting deflections on defense and taking care of the ball on offense. If the Pelicans want to make a run at the playoffs they need to clean up these lapses in focus when they commit turnovers that lead to easy buckets.