The New Orleans Pelicans were eviscerated 139-111 by the Brooklyn Nets on the second night of a back-to-back.
The Pels have started April in the worst way as the regular season quickly heads towards its finish. New Orleans has lost four of its five last games and, injuries aside, this was a dispiriting and disappointing performance. Even though the Pels were up against one of the best teams in the NBA—and arguably the squad with the most depth—some semblance of effort would have been nice.
Instead, the contest was over by halftime. The Pels trailed by 20 at the break after allowing Brooklyn to have its highest-scoring half of the season. From that point, it was always going to be impossible to get back into the game against a team of the Nets’ caliber.
Brandon Ingram, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Kira Lewis Jr. remained out of action for Wednesday night’s encounter. Jaxson Hayes played after overcoming fears of an ankle injury in the Pels’ loss against the Atlanta Hawks.
The Nets were without James Harden because of a hamstring injury, but welcomed back Kevin Durant after a lengthy spell on the sidelines. He was barely needed to clip the Pelicans’ wings.
With this loss, New Orleans is now two games behind making the play-in tournament. Things won’t exactly get easier right off the bat either, as the Pelicans travel to Philadelphia on Friday to take on the 76ers.
Here are the player grades for the Pels’ blowout loss against the Nets, starting with my personal MVP:
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Brooklyn Nets: Grading the best player
ERIC BLEDSOEBig, New Orleans Pelicans
You know it was a strange game when Eric Bledsoe was the Pelicans’ best player.
Bledsoe struggled for form over the majority of the season, but he is on a little individual streak of solid performances. Against the Nets, he was the Pelicans’ best player.
In a double-digit loss, maybe that’s not saying much, but Bledsoe was legitimately a contributor in Brooklyn. At times, it felt like he was the only Pelican trying. The former Kentucky guard finished with 26 points in 28 minutes.
Unfortunately, he got ejected in the third quarter. That sums up Bledsoe’s first season in New Orleans pretty well.