New Orleans Pelicans Head Basketball Coach Willie Green trying to yell to his team across the floor in Game 6 of the NBA’s Western Conference Playoffs at The Smoothie King Center on Thursday, Apr. 28, 2022. (Hunter Dawkins/The Gazebo Gazette via AP)

by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/Owner – thegazebogazette@gmail.com, hdawkins@supertalk.fm

Coming off zero All-Star nods for the New Orleans Pelicans, the team decided to make a statement on Monday night against the Toronto Raptors in a dominant 138-100 win at home.

Leading 67-50 at the half, the Pelicans (29-21) never let off the brakes. Knocking down over 50 percent of their shots from the field and over 40 percent of their shots from beyond the arc, a 71-point second half scorched any chances of the Raptors (17-33) coming back.

The numbers don’t lie

Brandon Ingram had a season-high 41 points to lead the Pelicans. The veteran shot 16 of 21 from the floor and 8 of 11 from three-point range. Arguably more impressive, Ingram added nine assists to his scoring total while not committing any turnovers.

New Orleans center Jonas Valanciunas posted his 355th career double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. CJ McCollum had 20 points, followed by three additional players reaching the double-digit mark.

Outside of scoring, the Pelicans easily won the rebound battle and were +11 in turnover ratio. Toronto rookie Gradey Dick may have been the only bright spot for the spiraling Raptors as the Kansas product had a season-high 22 points.

What the coach said

After the game, New Orleans head coach Willie Green applauded his team for one of their best overall performances of the season.

“The thing for us is to focus each and every game. When we shoot the ball like that, we’ll be tough to stop,” Green said, giving a shoutout to Ingram. “Brandon is meticulous about his game; he’s always one of the first on the floor and the last to leave. It’s rewarding to see how well he did tonight.”

All-Star snubs?

Although the Pelicans have no scorers inside the NBA’s top 20, they do have three scorers (Zion Williamson, Ingram, and McCollum) averaging more than 20 points per contest.

The Pelicans won’t be completely underrepresented during All-Star weekend, though, as rookie Jordan Hawkins and sophomore Dyson Daniels were both selected to the Futures All-Star game in Indianapolis on Feb. 17.

Next up

New Orleans will now take a road trip to L.A. where they will face the Clippers on Wednesday and the Lakers on Friday. They will stay out west to take on the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday before coming back south for a road game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

Their final game before the All-Star break will be at home next Wednesday against the Washington Wizards.