New Orleans Pelicans: Grades for 113-80 win over the OKC Thunder

Steven Adams #12 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Steven Adams #12 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Steven Adams
Steven Adams #12 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Pelicans vs. OKC Thunder: Center grades

Centers

Center. New Orleans Pelicans. STEVEN ADAMS. A+.

Steven Adams was amazing against his former team and was once again the best Pelican on the floor.

He dominated the paint early on, setting the tone for what would become a huge night in that area for the Pels, who scored 54 points in the paint to the Thunder’s 30.

The Pels haven’t shot the 3-pointer well this season but if they dominate the paint like this they will win a lot of games, especially if they rebound like they did against the Thunder.

Related Story. Trading for Mike Muscala of the OKC Thunder. light

The Pels grabbed 65 rebounds to the Thunder’s 49, and 10 of them were by Adams, six of which were offensive rebounds that gave the Pelicans extra possessions.

This is how you overcome a lack of 3-point shooting, by creating extra shots with rebounding and by limiting extra chances on the other end.

3-point shooting is not sustainable night after night, but rebounding and defense are, which is why the Pels are 3-2 despite a slow start offensively.

Adams added a steal and a block and was generally a monster on both ends.

D. . Center. New Orleans Pelicans. JAXSON HAYES

Hayes had a couple of blocks and some rebounds but still looked terrible doing it.

He doesn’t play with energy at all, which is not good considering he is fighting for minutes. Hayes looks like his confidence is shot and he’s too worried about making a mistake.

He needs to just play hard, that’s where it all starts. I’d be ok with Hayes’ mistakes if he were making them with energy and hustle, but right now he’s just a warm body out there taking up space.

The New Orleans Pelicans hope that they found something in NAW because the bench continues to struggle.

They will need another team effort against Toronto on Saturday, when the Raptors will look to avenge an early-season loss to the Pels.

Next. 4 trades that could upgrade the bench. dark