On Wednesday night, the Pelicans took on a struggling Washington Wizards team at the Smoothie King Center. After a four-game losing streak, Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry was looking to make a change that would spark his team. With injured point guard Elfrid Payton out until January, Gentry inserted former Wizard Tim Frazier into the starting lineup.
Despite the Wizards recent struggles, they had been one of the teams that had contributed to the Pelicans losing streak. An Anthony Davis-less Pelicans team traveled to Washington on November 24th and got handed a 124-114 loss. On Wednesday night, the Pelicans were determined to come out fast. That’s exactly what they did as they took an early lead versus the Wizards and never looked back all night.
Frazier told reporters after the game that Gentry told him, “we need you to push the pace.” Frazier also noted that pace had “been the emphasis of yesterday’s practice, shoot around, and film.” Frazier, who was making just his second start of the season, was a big reason for the Pelicans putting up 125 points to beat his old team 125-104.
In 37 minutes of play, Frazier dropped 12 points, dished out 12 assists, and grabbed six rebounds. Frazier noted after the game that the offensive weapons on the Pels made getting assists easy. Jrue Holiday, Anthony Davis, Julius Randle, Nikola Mirotic, and E’Twaun Moore backed up Frazier’s comments by scoring 29, 28, 23, 15, and 10 points respectively.
After his impact performance, Frazier was asked if his style of play fit better in the starting lineup. He humbly responded, “we all have some type of threat on the court. If you put me out there with anybody else, or if you put anybody else out there in my position, I think that with all the threats we have (a similar performance) could happen.”
After Wednesday night’s performance, it is hard to imagine that Gentry would not give Frazier many more opportunities to run the Pelicans offense over the next five weeks or so.
The Pelicans (11-11) will travel to take on the Miami Heat (7-13) this Friday.