One of the bigger regular season upsets took place last night – the victim: Cleveland.
Coming off a rough loss to San Antonio over the weekend, Cleveland looked to rebound v. the Anthony Davis-less Pels in New Orleans.
Instead, AD’s former UK running mate Terrence Jones stole the show w/ 36 points, 11 boards & 3 blocks.
‘Nawlins snuck away w/ a W & now sit just 1.5 GB Denver for 8th out West.
Here’s a few more notes from last night:
- Shot for Shot • It’s no secret New Orleans struggles to consistently cash the long ball – 18th in the league – not many natural shooters on the roster. Last night, however, Coach Gentry got 4 from Jrue Holiday, 3 apiece from Langston Galloway & Jones, and a pair from Dante Cunningham.
NO finished w/ 16 triples, compared to CLE’s 15 – one proven formula to beat the champs. Is it fool’s gold or can Gentry bank on his shooters finally turning the corner?
- Go-To Guys • AD missing time could end up a blessing in disguise. During this stretch, both Holiday & Jones are getting a taste of more touches w/ the opportunity to build confidence after each performance. At times, Holiday is brilliant commanding the rock – extremely patient, always looking to attack off the dribble. And Jones specializes in breaking down opponents, while also teasing triples from downtown. And since they’re both threats from deep, there’s room to put the duo in a ton of PnRs.
The West is WIDE open – New Orleans’s offensive pieces are starting to fit, can Holiday & Jones consistently support Davis when he returns?
- Bench Production • E’Twaun Moore, Donatas Motiejunas, Tyreke Evans & Galloway contributed 40 huge bench points last night, another deciding factor in the W.
Motie gave Gentry his best effort of the season: 14 points (2 triples), 4 boards in 24 minutes.
Donatas has familiarity playing alongside T. Jones (together for a few years in HOU), complements Jones’s dribble breakdown-outside attack w/ outside shooting & elbow faceups.
Look for the two to see extended time together with or without AD.
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