The New Orleans Pelicans are back on winning track, for now. Tuesday night the Pelicans finished their road trip on the right note with a 132-125 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Four players, who haven’t played this type of determined basketball for quite some time, carried the Pelicans. The superstar of the team, Anthony Davis finished the game with 28 points, 15 rebounds and unfortunately only one block. Next man up was Eric Gordon, who finished with 28 points and 6 assists. Gordon had been in somewhat of a shooting slump before this game. In the last seven games Gordon has averaged a low 12.3 PPG. Gordon went 4-for-5 beyond the three-point arc and finished 9-for-13 from the floor against the Lakers. Last time Gordon knocked home four three pointers was almost two months ago. Gordon’s shot has struggled a lot this year, but if he can turn it around and start making some buckets, his confidence will be high going into next season.
Not only did Gordon step his game up, but also Tyreke Evans is showing the Pelicans why he should’ve been starting earlier in the year. Last game Evans registered 24 points, 7 rebounds and an impressive 11 assists. Evans has now started the last four games for the Pelicans. In those four games, he averaged 21.8 PPG, 7 APG and 7.8 RPG. The Pelicans are kicking themselves in the behind for not starting Evans earlier in the early. With those numbers, he could’ve made the Western Conference All-Star team.
Brian Roberts has stepped it up tremendously in place of star point guard Jrue Holiday. Last game Roberts finished with 19 points in 29 minutes of play. This is the second time in the last two games for Roberts that he has scored 15 points or more in. He isn’t a pass first point guard, but in the last two games he has shown this organization that he can score.
The Pelicans finish the five game road trip with a 1-4 record. Starting Friday the team will have a six game home stand, and will look to build on their strong performance from Tuesday night.
Even if the team plays six great basketball games at home, they will still have trouble getting into the playoffs. All season long it has been one quarter that has hurt this team. The last time out against the Lakers, the Pelicans played a tremendous first half of basketball, but that third quarter is where the team found trouble. It’s difficult to play four solid quarters of basketball, but somehow all the playoff teams can figure it out. Maybe, the Pelicans don’t have enough leadership. Maybe, the Pelicans don’t have enough depth. Or maybe, the Pelican players don’t have the drive to play all four quarters.
Whatever is holding this team back needs to be solved before the start of next season. The team is 24-37 and can’t seem to win a game on the road. This season was supposed to be the year they made the playoffs, but I guess waiting another year is ideal.