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Pelicans’ Nikola Mirotic statistically better since shaving beard

Nikola Mirotic

New Orleans Pelicans forward Nikola Mirotic had an absolute roller coaster of a season, and especially in the month of March. He scored 26 points one night, four points. Had 11 points the next game, then six points a game later.

Mirotic mixed double digit scoring performances with single digit scoring games for most of his time with the Pelicans… That is, until April 4th. Since then, Mirotic has scored at least 10 points in 12 of his last 13 games, including six-of-seven in the NBA playoffs.

So what changed for the Pelicans forward? Well, he showed up to that April 4th morning shootaround without the beard he’s donned for the entirety of his NBA career. Somehow, it’s made him an insanely better scorer.

Can’t believe a stat is being made out of this, but Mirotic played 50 games with the beard this season and averaged 14.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.7 blocks and 2.3 three-pointers per game on 43 percent shooting from the field and 36.5 percent from beyond the arc.

Since shaving the beard, however, Mirotic is averaging 20.4 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.3 steals, 1.2 blocks, and 3.3 three-pointers per game on 53.7 percent shooting from the field and 45.3 percent from downtown. On top of that, the Pelicans have won 10-of-12 games since the beard was shaved.

What’s next for the Pelicans? Will the shaved beard lead them to an upset over the Golden State Warriors? Well, New Orleans has played well in the series so far, and finally came out with a win in Game 3 on Friday night.