New Orleans Pelicans: Grades for important win vs. Nuggets

(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Pelicans, Steven Adams
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Nuggets: Grades for the centers

B. . Center. New Orleans Pelicans. STEVEN ADAMS

Nikola Jokic dropped a triple-double, but I don’t think this evaluation of Steven Adams is unfair.

The Kiwi center made things tough for his Serbian counterpart all night long. He didn’t let Jokic get into a rhythm, matching him pound-for-pound in the post and making him have to work hard for most of his points.

More importantly, Adams dominated the glass. He was an intimidating presence on the boards, gathering more offensive rebounds than defensive ones. Adams singlehandedly gave the Pelicans plenty of second-chance opportunities.

As a reminder, Adams cannot be traded ahead of this week’s deadline.

B-. . Center. New Orleans Pelicans. JAXSON HAYES

Jaxson Hayes keeps delivering memorable moments, picking up yet another monster poster dunk.

Besides that, it was an unmemorable night for the Texas big, who probably wasn’t too happy to see his former college team get upset in the NCAA tournament the previous day. His only made field goal was that dunk.

Hayes didn’t play much, mostly because it seems like Stan Van Gundy wanted to pair Jokic up with Adams whenever possible. At one point, the Nuggets went to a 2-3 zone and Hayes didn’t yet have the knowhow or decision-making to flash into the middle of said zone and facilitate for his teammates. That was to be expected but is still worth noting.

Up next, the Pelicans will face the Los Angeles Lakers at home. The reigning NBA World Champions are expected to be without LeBron James, who sustained an ankle injury in the Lakers’ last game, and Anthony Davis.

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