NEW ORLEANS - The Pelicans (18-25) are trying to end a tumultuous month on a positive note, winning back-to-back games and three of their past four. It's a small step in the right direction for a young team learning how to win in crunch time.
"To be able to prove to ourselves that we can finish late in games, it's been big," point guard Brian Roberts said.
The recent spark has developed despite injuries to key players Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday and Jason Smith, showing just how resilient the short-handed squad has been.
"It's just all about us getting chemistry and learning each other's games," shooting guard Eric Gordon said. "You got a lot of guys playing different roles, and it's about all of us adjusting, and really learning how to overcome wins down the stretch."
While the All-Star play of Anthony Davis (20.1 points per game, 10-5 rebounds per game, 3.1 blocks per game) and all those injuries have dominated the headlines, the complementary play of the Pelicans' bench has also been crucial to the recent wins. In Sunday's 100-92 victory over the magic, the Pels' reserves outscored Orlando's 42-8, and in the past three games, the Pelicans' bench has averaged 48 points per game.
"You know, when our numbers are already slim as it is, you know we need production from everybody," Roberts said. "I think we've adopted that strength in numbers, even though we don't have full numbers. We just kinda been balanced and sharing the ball, and guys have been stepping up."
Gordon added, "A good, collective effort. Our bench has been really good, Austin has played well. A couple other guys that are doing things that they're not used to doing. It's all about us being consistent and playing like an overall team."
Leading the charge from the bench is super-sub Tyreke Evans (13.1 points per game), but coach Monty Williams still wants another consistent scoring threat.
"In a perfect world, you'd like to get two guys who can give you 12-15 points off your bench every single night," Williams said. "Especially with the minutes the way they are being spread out, a lot of guys are gonna have a chance to play, so you hope that guys step up."
The Pelicans face the Cavaliers (16-28) in Cleveland Tuesday night before a Wednesday night away game at the Timberwolves (21-22).
For some, it may be hard to believe that nine years have passed since Hurricane Katrina made landfall and left major devastation in Louisiana and Mississippi. Most people will never forget where theymore>>
Friday marks nine years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, causing major devastation in Louisiana and Mississippi.more>>
A cloud of locusts Clouds of insects slowed traffic Thursday in Madagascar's capitol city of Antananarivo. The island nation has been dealing with locusts for more than two years. The government announcedmore>>
While you were sleeping, the Internet never stopped. Here's what's trending today.more>>
SLIDELL, La. (AP) - As George Clooney and Sandra Bullock prepare this fall to shoot the political comedy "Our Brand Is Crisis," in New Orleans, producers are looking for locals interested in appearingmore>>
As George Clooney and Sandra Bullock prepare this fall to shoot the political comedy "Our Brand Is Crisis," in New Orleans, producers are looking for locals interested in appearing as extras in the film.more>>
A tropical wave is moving from the Caribbean into the Gulf of Mexico. The circulation is over land right now, but it is worth watching as it pushes west. It is not likely anything will develop untilmore>>
The only area worth watching at the moment is a wave currently over the Yucatan. The wave will move westward today and once over the Bay of Campeche, further development is possible.more>>
Fox 8 WVUE-TV
Louisiana Media Company, LLC.
1025 S. Jefferson Davis Parkway
New Orleans, LA 70125