NBA DAILY DRIBBLE: The Pelicans burst into the Playoff picture again

New Orleans Pelicans v Brooklyn Nets

NBA results February 11, 2018

New Orleans Pelicans 138 – Brooklyn Nets 128

Milwaukee Bucks 111 – Orlando Magic 104

Philadelphia 76ers 112 – LA Clippers 98

Washington Wizards 101 – Chicago Bulls 90

LA Lakers 123 – Dallas Mavericks 130

Golden State Warriors 122 – San Antonio Spurs 105

Denver Nuggets 123 – Phoenix Suns 113

Three things that happened in the NBA today

1. The Pelicans will be okay

When DeMarcus Cousins went down with a season-ending injury, there was a sense that the New Orleans Pelicans were going to face a tough run towards the Playoff. Before the Cousins injury, the Pelicans won seven of their last eight games and were in the thick of the the Playoff picture.

After the Cousins injury, they lost five of their last six games. Their only win came when Davis exploded for 43 points against the OKC Thunder. Davis struggled in their losses, shooting below 40% and was even held to below 15 points or below twice.

The thing is, the Pelicans aren’t just the Anthony Davis show. They have solid pieces to make it to the Playoffs. They acquired Nikola Mirotic to replace Cousins in the front court. The back court still has Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo. They just need to put it all together again after the Cousins injury.

In their double-OT win against the Brooklyn Nets, they got everybody going.

Davis led the way with another monster performance. He scored 44 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and had six steals and three blocks.

Rajon Rondo put up a triple-double, proving that he’s a key piece for New Orleans if they want to make it back to the Playoffs.

New Pelican, Mirotic had 21 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks. He showed a spunk in the paint he didn’t have with the Bulls.

Jrue Holiday added 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists as they overcame a pesky Nets team in the second overtime.

The Pelicans are currently at 29-26, half a game above the LA Clippers for the eighth seed in the West. If they can continue to string great performances from their top four guys, then they can definitely make a splash in the second half of the season.

2. Isaiah Thomas makes his Laker debut

The Lakers pulled off another stunning trade, sending young players Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance, Jr. to Cleveland for Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye. The move was primarily to get a pick back and free up cap space this summer. But in the process, they get a player one year removed from being an All-Star and a scoring leader.

The IT run was off to a rocky start as his agent reportedly informed the Lakers that he will pursue a buyout if Thomas was forced to come off the bench. But during an interview before the game against the Dallas Mavericks, Thomas was saying the right things to smooth out the process.

He did end up coming off the bench in his first game for the Lakers. Thomas came into the game midway through the first period. Then he proceeded to have a helluva first half. He scored 16 points in 14 minutes, setting the tone for his tenure with the Lakers. Thomas finished with his best numbers this year, 22 points, six assists on 7/12 shooting.

The Lakers lost to the Mavericks but after the game, Thomas looked happy and had this to say.

“I got my powers back playing with this team.”

3. Klay Thompson leads the Warriors

The San Antonio Spurs were severely undermanned in this match-up against the Golden State Warriors. They were missing Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, Rudy Gay and Dejounte Murray. The Warriors didn’t play around and took care of business.

Golden State leaned on Klay Thompson who led them on a third quarter run to pull away for good.

Did an NBA superstar get ejected today?

No. But check out this crazy reaction from the Warriors bench on a rare Klay Thompson dunk.

Photo from Getty Images

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