“You can see the potential”, a smiling “Boogie” Cousins says following a runaway New Orleans Pelicans win vs the Portland Trailblazers with the final score being 100-77. Lots of positives for the Pelicans during this game where everything seemed to click. Highlight plays from Boogie including an alley-oop to Anthony Davis from the top of the key, where Davis actually threw down a 360 after catching it mid air causing the arena to erupt in cheer.
The Pelicans won this game as a team, which is something you couldn’t really say about any other games this year. Sure AD and Boogie combined for 37 points, but it was the role players and great defense that led the way. Solomon Hill who isn’t known for his offense (due to him not having any) scored 12 points on 4 of 5 shooting. Moore and Crawford also chipped in with double digit scoring. Cunningham with 10 boards and Frazier, who also plays his hardest against his buddies on the blazers, chipped in 7 assists 0 turnovers. Every pelican player came in and there part in trying to get this crucial win.
The Portland Trailblazers struggled to find there groove the whole night. Only two players finished in double digits scoring; Lillard (29) and Napier (10). This was mostly due to the Pels switching on every screen and forcing the blazers to take highly contested mid range jumpers. We expect this from the small lineup of Holiday, (insert any shooting guard), Hill, Cunningham, Davis as they have done it all year, but even with Cousins, switching was taking place. The Pels showed why they are a top 10 defense in the league.
It wasn’t all cheers in smiles. In the third quarter Davis turned his ankle and went into the locker room. Although it seems Davis gets hurt every other game and he will come back, it still a hold your breathe moment. During his time out Cousins took over. Bullying Nurkic and Leonard on offense, stealing and blocking shots on defense. Cousins looked more involved in this game than any other game so far in his short pelicans career. Davis eventually came back and the hot shooting streak of the pels continued.
The Trailblazers are currently 9th and battling for the 8th and final spot for the playoffs. If the Pelicans have any shot of making the playoffs, this win was a necessity. With 3 games remaining against the Denver Nuggets and 1 more against the Trailblazers, there is still hope that the Pelicans can squeeze into that 8th spot. With that said, there is little to no room for error. The Pelicans will host the Miami Heat tonight 3/15/17. Hopefully a win streak can begin for the Pels.
What did you guys think of the game? Is this the beginning of a streak, or just a win against a cold shooting Blazers team? Leave a comment below. Have a social media? Give me a follow @NolaJus on Instagram/Twitter to discuss everything Pelicans as well as the NBA in general.