Pelicans and Green Wave put on a show
If it was reported that the city of New Orleans wouldn’t get any hotter the rest of this year, it would of course be a lie. The heat is on its way but the New Orleans Pelicans and your other local favorite Crescent City teams are already heating up. Check it out.
New Orleans Pelicans
The bars were filled throughout the city as the Pelicans kicked off their playoff season against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night. The Pelicans entered the Moda Center as underdogs to Portland but sent a message to the Trail Blazers and possibly the rest of the NBA with a 97-95 victory to steal home-court advantage.
Anthony Davis was Anthony Davis, collecting 35 points and 14 rebounds to go along with four blocked shots. Davis, in only the fifth playoff game of his career, has gone for at least 25 points in each contest, joining Lebron James, Wilt Chamberlin, Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players to accomplish that feat. Heady company indeed! However, that is expected of Davis and, as you know, he has put up big points without a lot of victories along the way. This victory was a team effort.
Rajon Rondo looked like a younger version of himself, doling out a nasty 17 assists on the night. Late-season pickup, NiKola Mirotic, added 16 points with four three-pointers and Ian Clark provided valuable minutes off of the bench.
Now let’s talk about how Jrue Holiday won the game.
Holiday went for 21 points but his biggest plays were on the defensive side of the ball. Holiday, after harassing Portland’s Damien Lillard into a 6-for-22 night of shooting made three defensive stops in the last 20 seconds of the game, the last being a rejection of Pat Canaughton’s layup attempt with nine seconds to go that would have brought the game to within one point. The block bounced into Davis’ waiting arms and the Pelicans took home the crucial first game victory.
The Pelicans go for a 2-0 series lead tonight in Portland at 9:30 p.m. before returning to the Smoothie King Center for games on Thursday and Saturday.
*Photo Credit: Parker Waters / tulanegreenwave.com
Tulane Green Wave baseball
If sports were movies then Tulane’s mind-boggling 17-16 victory over the Houston Cougars would be the big turning point. The Green Wave, trailing by 10 runs in the fourth inning, displayed that never-say-die attitude of yesteryear and stormed all the way back. Not only were they down double digits early on but needed five runs in the bottom of the ninth to take the wild victory at Turchin Stadium. It was a game that was weirder than, “Being John Malkovich,” with a cast of stars up and down the batting order.
Keeping with the movie motif, if Tulane’s season was on the line and they had to choose only one man to “win the big one” that man, at this point, would have to be Keagan Gillies. Tulane (16-21) took the series victory behind another sterling performance by the sophomore pitcher. Gillies pitched five scoreless innings with four strikeouts and now sports an impressive 2.81 ERA.
Tulane, at 6-6, sits one game out of first place in the American Athletic Conference. The Green Wave hosts the LSU Tigers (24-13) tomorrow night at Turchin Stadium at 6:30 p.m. If you like watching baseball with good-sized crowds this is your night.
UNO Privateers baseball
It was a tough week for the Privateers (17-20) as they slowed their roll by getting swept by the McNeese State Cowboys. Beau Bratton had another solid weekend at the plate for the Privateers but it just wasn’t enough as UNO’s pitching had a hard time keeping the Cowboys’ offense, which ranks close to the bottom in the Southland Conference, off the base paths. If the season were to end today, UNO would be on the outside looking in to get into the tournament.
UNO hosts South Alabama (21-13) on Wednesday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m.
*Photo Credit: Clem Barbazon / unoprivateers.com
Tulane Green Wave football
A good crowd was on hand at Yulman Stadium to watch the Tulane Green Wave’s Spring Game and the fans witnessed a good show.
Quarterback Jonathan Banks sent a buzz through the Uptown crowd during the first series when he went up top and connected with Terren Encalade for a 49-yard bomb. The duo would later connect on a 79-yard touchdown that should put the American Athletic defensive coordinators on notice. This duo should terrorize some defensive backfields this year.
The Green Wave, featuring a run-first mentality in Coach Fritz’s first two years, featured Darius Bradwell running in between the tackles and Stephon Huderson hitting the edges but the biggest run of the night was provided by Texas Tech transfer Corey Dauphine’s 58-yard gallop. It seems the Green Wave have another fine stable of running backs.
So, get excited Greenies! This team has some swagger and is poised to make a real run at a bowl game in Coach Fritz’s third year at the helm. Tulane opens their season at home against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Aug. 30. See ya at Yulman!
And like a fine wine with a steak dinner, every game should be accompanied by a beverage and song.
Beer Pairing: Courtyard Brewery’s “Sinceriously” American IPA
Playlist Recommendation: Irma Thomas – “Breakaway”
Around the Way
Tulane Beach Volleyball continues its rise under Coach Wayne Holly. The Green Wave (21-12) enter the CCSA conference tournament this weekend as the sixth-seed and enter pool play where they will take on South Carolina, Florida International, Alabama-Birmingham and College of Charleston. Tulane holds regular season victories over all of these teams except for South Carolina. The top two teams in the pool will move on to the semifinals on Sunday. Good luck Green Wave!