The lineup that the Pelicans played in this game against the Kings was missing a lot of players and had no go-to scorer that I can tell. Anthony Davis was out due to forcing a trade out of New Orleans. Julius Randle was out for some reason, probably “load management”. E’Twaun Moore’s been out for a while, suffering some unknown malady. Jrue Holiday’s been out for a while too because who even wants to play on the Pelicans when AD isn’t around to catch your lobs? Darius Miller was out but he’s not a go-to scorer so his absence doesn’t help me make my point.
That point is, Ian Clark stepped up tonight when there scant few options for players who can reasonably be expected to elevate their game when they get a chance. I personally would have liked to see Christian Wood do a little better, but he scored fourteen on fourteen shots. I’m also always hyped for Dairis Bertans, but he had a team-low six points and no assists. So Ian Clark it is. He had 31 points as the Pelicans’ de facto number-one option.
I thought about writing a story where Clark visits the Hall of the Thirty-Point scorers, but then I remembered that he’s already been there because he scored 36 withe the Warriors all those years ago. The story could have been about him revisiting it and taking the roll of “gatekeeper” over from Carlos Delfino, but that would take too much time. With fourteen games having been played tonight, time is not something I have much of right now.