The last two-second halves of basketball for the New Orleans Pelicans haven’t been considered their best basketball. Don’t get me wrong, road trips aren’t the easiest challenge in the NBA world, but you have to deal with them every season. We all know the Pelicans haven’t been the best team on the road this season, only winning 6 out of their 13 games.
Let’s go back a few nights to when the Pelicans played the Indiana Pacers (January 4th). In the first half the Pelicans led the Pacers by 14 points, TWICE! We all know that no lead is safe in the NBA and this game showed us exactly that. The Pelicans went walking into halftime with their heads down, but they had the lead by 5 points.
The second half of basketball games is where the Pelicans just forget how to play basketball. If they want to make it to the playoffs they will need to learn how to finish games. The Pacers blew the Pelicans out of the water in the third quarter of that game and the Pelicans scored only 12 points that quarter. The game was over after that and the Pelicans lost the game by 17 points.
Before we move on to last nights game, I just want to state that the Pelicans had to play the two best Eastern Conference teams back-to-back. I know everyone has excuses, but playing four solid quarters against two of the best teams in the NBA isn’t easy. So, last nights game was yet another display of horrible second half basketball for the Pelicans. They led the Heat by 6 points going into halftime. Although, do you remember how well the Pelicans play in the second half?
Of course you do! The Heat came out of the locker room looking ready to play, LeBron James had that look on his face, and Miami took a 5-point lead going into the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter the Heat turned it on, outscoring the Pelicans by 14 points, and Miami won the game by 19 points.
It’s getting harder and harder to watch Pelican basketball games. They have such a great first quarter and they stick with the best teams in the league, but when the second half comes around it’s like they forget how to play basketball. Maybe the Pelicans should just stay out on the court for halftime, just like grade school basketball did!
I think what is happening is that the players are just getting fatigued. They had a long rode trip, they played the two of the best teams in the league, and they couldn’t handle the pressure. This is a young team, but you don’t get any younger. One of these next games I want to see the Pelicans take the reins of the bull and handle them until the final buzzer goes off. This is the NBA and teams aren’t going to back down once the second half starts. Find a leader, help the leader, play two great halves of basketball, and put a win in the win column tonight against the Washington Wizards.