Rolling the Bones

Published: July 22, 2013

We go out in the world and take our chances
Fate is just the weight of circumstances
That’s the way that lady luck dances
Roll the bones

— Rush, Roll the Bones

New Orleans Pelicans News

The New Orleans Pelicans time at the Las Vegas Summer League came to and end with losses to the Bucks, Nuggets, and Wizards. They managed a victory over the Cavaliers this week prior to the tournament starting.

This week, the NBA approved a name change for the Charlotte Bobcats who will become the Charlotte Hornets. The soon-to-be-Charlotte-Hornets also made a donation to the Pelicans Gulf Coast Preservation Fund.

We are very pleased to transition the Hornets name to Charlotte, where the name has a unique fit and meaning to their fans, much like Pelicans has to our fans and our region,” Benson said. “Working together with the Charlotte organization we were able to make this happen with the fans of both communities benefiting and we look forward to working with them on finalizing the specifics of the transition. We are also very thankful to the Charlotte organization for their contribution to the Pelicans Gulf Coast Preservation Fund. It speaks to the positive nature when two teams work together for the better good of our game, our league and our communities.”

The team is launching a new online radio show: The Black and Blue Report.

The Black and Blue Report will air weekdays at 1 p.m. on and It’s a 30-minute online radio show focused on the Pelicans and Saints. It will feature exclusive interviews with players, coaches and executives from both franchises along with national guests talking about the issues impacting the NBA and the NFL. If you’re a fan of the Pelicans or the Saints, it’s a must-listen. Sean Kelley, the radio voice of the Pelicans, will host our first show. Come back Monday and check it out!

Also, this Saturday, the team is holding auditions for its dance team for the 2013-2014 Season. No word on the name of the squad.

Around Bourbon Street Shots

In the NO this week focused on Summer League.

Michael’s Summer League coverage this week included a number of player interviews: Gordon and Withey, and Thomas and Withey. Think Michael likes Withey? Check out his lasting impressions to find out.

Gerry V also had some words on what Summer League games fail to tell you.

The Pelicans are also reportedly making a offer to Greg Oden that is for 2 years and around $3m per year. Chris Trew presents his take on the rumors in this week’s Trew to the Game.

Andrew compiled every Anthony Davis block for the season. Watch it, because the later ones are only going to be longer.

In the way of analysis, Ryan looks at how the advanced statistics of the new team look, while Jake and Pellissier take a hard look at positioning and what the team did last season in the paint using it.

`Voices’ of the People

Great read. And I agree completely that a smart coach and a big man who knows how to move off the ball (hello, Anthony Davis) can create excellent floor spacing. Monty doesn’t get nearly enough credit for the offense being even league average last season. I think they will have a top 10 offense this season. Defense is where a huge jump has to be made.

The Miami system does a wonderful job of playing to the strengths of the talent they have. Going small and letting James operate on the block with excellent shooters and off ball cutters is pretty much unstoppable. Even against Indiana’s elite defense, they managed a 107 ORating during the series and 106 ORating v the Spurs in the Finals.

I would only quibble with the fact that the Pacers aren’t leaving Miami shooters alone- even if they are cold. The most used lineup featuring Andersen, according to, in that series was Allen/Andersen/Battier/Cole/James with 31 minutes in 5 games. Net efficiency rating was +16 with an ORating of 120.3 The most used 3 man lineup featuring Andersen was actually Allen/Andersen/Cole (James figures in the next two with about 6 less MP) with 6 games and 70 minutes. ORating of 115 and Net of +22. It’s not like the shooters are solely responsible for Andersen getting great looks, but they certainly make things easier for him in terms of spreading the floor, clearing the lane, and leaving Hibbert without any help.

I guess my point is context, as always, is everything


That’s really encouraging to read about Davis being a leader for the other young players. I would guess his experience with the Olympics last year had a significant effect on him. He probably learned a lot then about the value of teammate interactions, and how players take on leadership rolls within the team, helping each other. I would guess he learned that really well and is demonstrating it now. That is a really exciting thing for the future of the team.


Good write up I now see why the stat guys were so down on these moves and I can respect that opinion. However we would have been left with less depth and a bunch of question marks on that chart had we simply taken Noel and went with it. I wonder how the more advanced stat writers would have felt about our offseason then? We had to start building a contending team now or else risk losing the talent we had acquired (Davis) in the very near future. I guess I just don’t buy into this whole “we’re trying to rebuild too fast” or “you need to rebuild through the draft” thing, and being a Pelicans fan I might be a little biased with Dell’s moves. The thing is at what pace should a team rebuild? Why should a small market team or any team rebuilding for that matter be limited to rebuilding through the draft (or as I like to call it become the farm teams for the rest of the NBA)?

So while I understand why the moves are not exactly impressive to the stat guys I really just wonder what they would have thought about the alternatives? Also I think it is generally agreed upon that this is a good trade for Philly. Why does that necessarily mean its a bad trade for us? Anyways that’s my two cents.


42 Sense

The Pelicans’ pursuit of Greg Oden makes sense in what will be called the Pelicans model . . . if it is successful. Oden is a young vet at age 25, but perhaps less of a veteran that some would like, having only played 82 games in his career. This disparity, despite being the first overall pick in his draft, has been due to a barrage of injuries, and not just to his knees, though those are the highest profile ones.

Oden’s value is quite low, with the Pelicans’ offer of 2 years at around $3m per year, likely the Room MLE, being considered as a “quality” offer by some experts. His potential is quite high, as his status going into the draft showed as did his aggregate play over 82 games.

This kind of play for a potentially under-valued young veteran is the hallmark of Dell Demps’ team building.

If it does not work, the Pelicans are out of a Room MLE that they may not have used on any other potential game changer. If it works, they have two first overall draft picks in their front court making around $8m a year.

The Pelicans are in the hunt for Oden along with the Spurs and Heat. One of these things is not like the others.

The competition is one reason the Pelicans have to make their “quality” offer, but they have other potential benefits for Oden the other teams don’t have. Not only would Oden be largely out of the spotlight in New Orleans and free from the pressures of title-contention, they have a well-documented history, if short, of working with players to reach their potential. Eric Gordon comes to mind, but they stuck with Smith, Belinelli, and others when other teams thought them not worth the investment. Belinelli has signed with potential title-contenders in recent seasons, and Smith is a valued player in New Orleans.

Not contending for a title and two seasons of Eric Gordon injury issues . . . turned into a positive?

If it works, two things have to happen: Pelicans fans need to applaud this staff, and the NBA better start figuring out what voodoo the Pelicans will pull next.


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