New Orleans Pelicans: Grades for shorthanded loss to the Clippers

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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The New Orleans Pelicans lost a close game to the Clippers despite a breakout game from their young backcourt.

A loss is a loss and the New Orleans Pelicans can’t be happy about only winning four of their first ten games.

But sometimes the pain of a loss can be lessened by a well-played game or a breakout night from an unexpected player, which was the case against the Clippers.

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The Pelicans were down three starters and forced to play rookie Kira Lewis Jr. and second-year guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker big minutes and they stepped up.

It would have been nice to get the win, but it was a productive loss that might pay dividends down the road.

Here are the grades for a shorthanded loss against the Clippers.

New Orleans Pelicans: Point guard grades in 111-106 loss to the Clippers

Point Guards

B+. . Point Guard. New Orleans Pelicans. KIRA LEWIS JR.

Point guard duties were split between NAW and Kira Lewis Jr. last night, with the rookie coming off the bench.

The New Orleans Pelicans have to be happy about what they saw, as Lewis Jr. was smooth, confident and under control all night.

He got to the rim with ease even though he did miss a couple of easy floaters once he did. He also flashed the ability to pass off his penetration, which he did several times though the shots didn’t fall, costing him a couple of assists.

Lewis Jr. had 2-3 bad defensive possessions but overall he played well while flashing some of the enticing upside that got the Pels to draft him in the first place.

It appears the Pels have a player and Lewis Jr. earned himself more minutes after his solid play. Who knows, he may even start against the Lakers.

The only downside to the night was that he was not allowed to finish the game with NAW, with Stan Van Gundy opting for J.J. Redick instead. More on that in a second.