Holiday’s game falters since Cousins trade

Just yesterday, our stable or writers attempted to figure out what’s been wrong with the New Orleans
Pelicans ever since they traded for DeMarcus Cousins. The answers are varied and
after last night’s 94-87 home loss to the Toronto Raptors — a game where
All-Star Anthony Davis left with a wrist in jury — the Pelicans’ woes are
continuing. William Guillory of The Times-Picayune points out that one key issue
has been the regression in play from point guard Jrue Holiday:

The Pelicans — now 1-6 in games with Cousins on the court — are 4.5 games back
of the Denver Nuggets for the eight seed with only 17 games left, and their
postseason hopes continue to shrink with each passing loss.

While Davis’ injury was a concern by the end of the night, the biggest issue the
Pelicans have faced since Cousins’ arrival has been the sudden regression in
Jrue Holiday’s play as he’s struggled to figure out his new role.

Holiday, who was playing some of his best basketball of the season before the
All-Star break, was held to seven points and six assists in Wednesday’s loss,
and has averaged 13.6 points and 6.1 assists on 38.9 percent shooting in the
eight games since New Orleans acquired Cousins.

Excluding the 22-point outburst Holiday had when Cousins was suspended for Mar.
1’s game against the Detroit Pistons, his averages drop down to 12.4 points and
6.3 assists on 35.8 percent shooting.

He’s had back-to-back single-digit scoring performances in the team’s past two
contests, and the hopes that he would be able to fill out the “Big 3” along with
Cousins and Davis have mostly gone unfulfilled up to this point.

“We’ve just got to continue to play and we can’t overthink the game,” Gentry
said. “We’ve just got to play. All of these guys have played with instincts in
basketball their whole lives, we’ve just got to go out and play.

“I just want him to be Jrue Holiday…just be Jrue Holiday and play how he
plays, and he’ll be fine.”

The Pelicans were one of the bottom-10 teams in offensive rating before trading
for Cousins, but that number has completely fallen off a cliff in the past few

In its eight games since the All-Star break, New Orleans is dead last with a
96.1 offensive efficiency and the only other team coming in at less than 101
during that stretch is the Los Angeles Lakers (97.9).


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