Video: Pelicans wrap up season according to form with loss to Magic
The final installment of the 2019-2020 season for the New Orleans Pelicans was a familiar refrain.
This year’s version of the Pels could score and score frequently.
This year’s version of the Pels could not stop the opponent from scoring and scoring frequently.
The predictability of both occurring was true to form in the Orlando “Bubble” and in the final contest, the Magic outscored New Orleans 133-127.
New Orleans shot 55 percent, outrebounded the Magic 40-33 and limited turnovers to 13 and still lost.
New Orleans gave up 77 points in the first half. The Pelicans shot over 62 percent from the field and trailed by 16 points.
The 13 made 3-pointers in the first half by the Magic tied a franchise record. Many were open, make that wide open looks.
New Orlenian D.J. Augustin of Brother Martin had 15 points, five assists and four rebounds, all in the second quarter for the Magic. D.J. did whatever he wanted.
The Pelicans gave good effort and outscored Orlando 66-56 in the second half but had dug themselves too large of a hole to extricate themselves from.
While all other key rotation players sat out, Josh Hart played throughout and played hard, as usual. Hart finished with 23 points, 14 rebounds and six assists.
Getting the start at the guard spots, Frank Jackson scored 31 points while Nickeil-Alexander Walker had 29 points. Both were career high totals. Jackson added five assists. Alexander-Walker added seven assists but committed six turnovers, though only one came in the second half after he settled in.
Zylon Cheatham showed athleticism and good effort, going 4-of-4 for eight points with a bounce in his step.
The Pelicans allowed Orlando to shoot 57 percent from the field. You simply won’t win many games in that fashion.
Anyone who feels the Pelicans should stand pat heading into next season cannot be facing reality. This team needs more length and it needs more toughness.
Now, the watch is on for Alvin Gentry.
There has been widespread speculation regarding his future with the team.
Fans have clamored for his dismissal. The team’s performance in Orlando certainly did not help his cause at all.
Is his relationship with David Griffin rock solid or are their cracks in the façade?
My guess is that we will get an answer rather quickly.
Whomever coaches the Pelicans next season must begin with demanding a commitment and attitude to defend and to make an effort to defend. That requires commitment.
That requires toughness, both elements missing from the 2019-2020 Pelicans, regardless of what five players were on the floor.
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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, CCSE CEO Ken Trahan has been a sports media fixture in the community for nearly four decades. Ken started NewOrleans.com/Sports with Bill Hammack and Don Jones in 2008. In 2011, the site became SportsNOLA.com. On August 1, 2017, Ken helped launch CrescentCitySports.com. Having accumulated national awards/recognition (National Sports Media Association, National Football…