New Orleans Pelicans: Comeback win should inspire changes

Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Brandon Ingram #14 of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans did something agains the Celtics that they haven’t done much of this year, which is win a close game.

After a lackluster first half in which the Pels barely came out of the locker room, they came roaring back in the second, winning both the third and fourth quarters before finally beating the Celtics in overtime.

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It was the type of win that can turn a season around, as the Pelicans showed more heart and defensive intensity than they have all season.

Here are some changes that should happen after the New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Boston Celtics in an overtime thriller.

New Orleans Pelicans: Josh Hart needs to play more with Lonzo Ball

The Pelicans were down by 24 points in the first half and the game looked over. Something changed in the second half and the Pelicans started flying around on defense, led by the inspired play of Josh Hart and Lonzo Ball.

The duo took turns trying to stop Jayson Tatum, and even though the Celtics’ star still got his, Hart and Ball made it tough on him.

Hart finished with three blocks and a steal and Lonzo added two steals of his own, getting their teammates going in the process.

Eric Bledsoe barely played in the comeback and it might be time he is moved to the bench to allow Hart and Lonzo to play more together, as their defensive presence on the perimeter was what turned the game around.

New Orleans Pelicans: Nicolo Melli might deserve another chance

Melli still can’t hit a shot, as he only made one of his seven 3-pointers in his 17 minutes of play but  I thought his effort was a big part of the comeback. One thing you can say about Melli is that he plays hard, even if he is not always effective.

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Such was the case last night, as Melli got some unexpected run after J.J. Redick was inexplicably ejected for throwing a bounce pass that hurt the refs’ (who were absolutely awful for both sides by the way) feelings.

Melli made the most of it through effort alone and made a crucial defensive play down the stretch, stuffing Daniel Theis on an attempted drive to the basket.

It’s too early to say Melli is back (he isn’t) but his energy was infectious and he deserves to get a shot.

New Orleans Pelicans: Feeding Zionilliamson late in the game

Another trend the Pelicans bucked last night was their tendency to go away from Zion Williamson late in the game.

Zion did not have a good first half, but starting rolling in the second and the Pels finally kept going to him. Zion scored one of the most important baskets of the game after the Celtics had retaken a late lead.

The Pels fed Zion and he went to work, scoring through contact and drawing a foul to put the Pels up two with just 6.9 second left to play. Tatum would eventually tie the game and send it to overtime (he’s really really good) but it was nice to see the Pels go to Zion Williamson late in a  game for once.

Brandon Ingram eventually sealed it in overtime with a 3-pointer and a couple of free throws but it was a team effort for the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Pels have been inconsistent all year but this win felt like the type that could get their season going in the right direction.

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