The New Orleans Pelicans fell back into some bad habits against the Indiana Pacers.
It looked like the New Orleans Pelicans were about to cruise to victory against the Indiana Pacers but some poor execution late cost them a very winnable game.
The Pelicans came out and put an 18-2 run on the Pacers in the 4th quarterand the game looked over. A couple of 3-pointers, some bad defense and a turnover later and the game was suddenly tied.
It was a bad loss that has to somewhat be put on coach Stan Van Gundy, who admitted as much after the game.
He should have called a timeout when J.J. Redick and then Lonzo Ball struggled to get the ball up the floor late in the game, which led to the decisive turnover and Myles Turner tying 3-pointer.
Stan Van Gundy also left Zion Williamson on the bench for most of the overtime, another move he wishes he could have back.
But players ultimately decide the games, so let’s get into the grades for a frustrating loss to the Pacers.
New Orleans Pelicans: Point guard grades in 118-116 loss to the Pacers
LONZO BALLPoint Guard, New Orleans Pelicans
This might seem harsh for a guy who scored 18 points and added six boards and six assists.
But Lonzo Ball also disappeared for a huge chunk of the game before hitting some huge 3-pointers late. He had a big first quarter and a big fourth quarter but was gone for the middle part of the game.
His defense wasn’t great and the Pacers guards were in the lane all night.
But the worst part of Lonzo Ball’s night was the turnovers, including the one that essentially cost the Pelicans the game.
You can blame that on Stan Van Gundy (been reading a lot of that today) but ultimately your point guard cannot get ripped like that in that situation. Victor Oladipo just took the ball from Lonzo who could have called a timeout himself, which just can’t happen, especially to a player who is as smart as Lonzo.
It’s also more difficult to close out games when your point guard is hesitant to get fouled because he can’t shoot free throws.
Lonzo was great in spurts but has to quit turning the ball over so much, he had another four last night and is averaging three a game in the young season.