Basketball sure is fun – especially when you’re playing well. Watch a hyped Tyreke Evans find Anthony Davis in the snug pick-and-roll for a dagger reverse jam to cap the New Orleans Pelicans’ game-deciding fourth quarter comeback against the Utah Jazz.
Awesome. How many players would feel confident enough to opt for a reverse dunk in this situation? And how great it is to watch Evans enjoy himself on the court – he’s had a rough go of it since an eye-opening rookie campaign.
The Pelicans outscored the Jazz 41-22 in the game’s final stanza to steal a 119-111 win. Davis had 31 points and nine rebounds on 12-of-15 shooting in his first game back from a chest contusion, while Evans went for 19 points, four rebounds, and six assists for a performance that’s been the norm in December.
What’s unfortunate for 12-12 New Orleans is that it resides in the Western Conference. Though the Phoenix Suns’ six-game slide has vaulted the Pelicans to eighth place, the Oklahoma City Thunder are merely a game back of them before tonight’s contest against the Sacramento Kings. With it looking more and more like Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and company are bound for the postseason, New Orleans’ own postseason hopes are dwindling by the day.
There’s been a clear seven team hierarchy in the West all season long, and the Thunder will soon make it eight. Unless the Pelicans play far better than .500 basketball for the remainder of the regular season, they’ll be on the outside looking in come April.
But such is life out west, and New Orleans should take solace in the fact that its playing consistently competitive basketball so early on its developmental curve. With Davis primed for perennial MVP status and Evans re-establishing himself as an impact player, the future is bright in the bayou – even if its immediate one is almost surely less so.
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