1) New Orleans (8-6) moved to two games over .500 with a narrow 106-105 escape over Atlanta on Monday night. The Hawks shot threes extremely well and led deep into the fourth quarter, but the Pelicans came up with a few more big plays in crunch time, led by Darius Miller’s timely shooting.
2) Watch postgame reaction from Miller (career-best 21 points), Alvin Gentry, the duo of Jrue Holiday/E’Twaun Moore and Rajon Rondo, who made his official Pelicans debut, playing five minutes.
3) Don’t look now – it’s probably slightly early for that – but for what it’s worth, New Orleans is tied for fifth place in the Western Conference. It may be hard to believe based on the way the two Southwest Division teams began the campaign, but the Pelicans are now ahead of Memphis (7-6) by a half-game. New Orleans is 5-1 since starting 3-5.
4) In our weekly Tuesday look at national power rankings, the Pelicans are moving upward, placed between No. 12 (USA Today) and 16 (ESPN.com) by five major websites. According to NBA.com, “The Pelicans’ offense is coming along, with their 113 points scored per 100 possessions over their last three games being their best offensive stretch of the season.”
5) New Orleans will practice today at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center. Check Pelicans.com later for coverage. The team will try to make it a perfect three-game homestand Wednesday vs. Toronto.