New Orleans Pelicans: Grades for dominant win vs. Cavs

(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
3 of 4
Next
New Orleans Pelicans
(Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) /

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Cavs: Player Grades for the wings

B-. . Wing. New Orleans Pelicans. JOSH HART

Steady and unspectacular. Those two words sum up Josh Hart’s game pretty well and they also describe his outing against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Pels’ main wing played solid, but it’s not like it was a night to remember for Hart. He checked into the Smoothie King Center, did his job, and left with a W under his belt. Hart scored six points and ripped down four rebounds. He had a nice buzzer-beating floater at one point, but missed all three of his attempted triples.

Hart is down to 32 percent from beyond the arc this season. He is still very valuable to Stan Van Gundy, but the next step for him is still improving his outside shot. Let’s see if he can do that before the Pels make a decision on his future this summer.

New Orleans Pelicans. SINDARIUS THORNWELL. N/A. . Wing

Thornwell only played six minutes in garbage time, so it would be unfair to grade him. During his time on the court, he missed both of the shots he took.

The former college standout for the South Carolina Gamecocks is on his second 10-day contract of the season after having previously been waived by the Pels mostly for financial purposes.

Still, the organization seems to value Thornwell to some extent, even if it’s just as a locker room presence. If he sticks around, expect him to get more garbage time minutes when possible.

Thornwell only played six minutes in garbage time, so it would be unfair to grade him. During his time on the court, he missed both of the shots he took.

N/A. . Wing. New Orleans Pelicans. WENYEN GABRIEL

It finally happened. Wenyen Gabriel got minutes again! Sure, he was only on the court for a bit over four minutes, but something is something.

The 6-foot-9 man from South Sudan is someone who I want to see more of. I would love for someone to ask Stan Van Gundy how he is doing in practice and whether he can even contend for legit playing time this season.

Gabriel is a switchy, long forward who can probably fit on the Pels in any spot from the 3 to the 5. He is still only 23-years-old and has flashed some intriguing signs during his short stints for the Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings.

Again, I won’t grade Gabriel because he barely played, but he had a couple of nice moments. He stayed with guard Quinn Cook on a switch and then drew a pair of free throws in the closing minutes of the contest.

New Orleans Pelicans. NAJI MARSHALL. N/A. . Wing

Naji Marshall went from the G League Bubble in Lake Buena Vista, Florida to getting some minutes with the Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center. Like Thornwell and Gabriel, these were only garbage time minutes, but it must have been a light at the end of the tunnel moment for the undrafted wing.

Marshall spent the last month in the G League with the Erie BayHawks and did well during the shortened developmental season. His upside is that of a rangy, 6-foot-7 defensive wing that can create his own shot.

In his 12 games with the BayHawks, he averaged about 16 points per game. Marshall’s swing skill is his outside shot, however. He made about 35 percent of his threes in the G League, but his college average at Xavier doesn’t even crack 29 percent. Marshall’s only taken and missed shot was a triple, but it was a tough one off the dribble and at the end of the game.