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.


  1. Pelican Poster

    July 22, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Nice voodoo reference!  And are we getting ready to roll up a character with those D&D dice?!  Anderson = Monk, Smith = Paladin, Davis…big a** Mage?  Not seeing any Barbarians unless Brockman makes the team…

  2. Pelican Poster

    July 22, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Nice voodoo reference!  And are we getting ready to roll up a character with those D&D dice?!  Anderson = Monk, Smith = Paladin, Davis…big a** Mage?  Not seeing any Barbarians unless Brockman makes the team…

    • 504ever

      July 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      Yeah. Love (Ryan’s) D&D dice.

  3. Pelican Poster

    July 22, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Edit function = double posting…sorry

  4. mateor

    July 22, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I see all the cap space moves and sacrifices that the Mavericks mean and I fear it means they are making room for an offer Oden already accepted prior to leaving Vegas.
    One way or the other, I need Oden to sign somewhere, I cannot remember the last time I spent this much mental energy on something I have zero control over.

    • RobertWelch

      July 22, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      mateor Let’s hope that Oden isn’t already locked in elsewhere. I have to wonder what it would mean if we do get Oden, and he is largely healthy for the season. As it stands now, we are probably playoff contenders, but not likely to make it to the later rounds. Perhaps with Oden, we become more of a contender in the playoffs, able to actually win a series or two even. He could make that much difference for us, if he can stay on the court.

      • Pelican Poster

        July 22, 2013 at 12:42 pm

        RobertWelch mateor I totally agree…maybe not “worst to first” but the lane would be a tough place to get a shot off from  AND the dude can hit free throws so he can be on the floor at the end.  Monty is going to make it happen.

      • RobertWelch

        July 22, 2013 at 3:47 pm

        Pelican Poster RobertWelch mateor We’ll see if it happens. ESPN reports that Spurs/Heat are the favorites to land him right now. I guess it comes down to whether he want’s to be on a contender now, or have eyes to the future. Considering his health questions, I can understand him wanting to get in position for a ring ASAP. He might not have much time to get there, even at his young age. He may be young in years, but it sounds like his body might be more like that of a veteran, broken and patched together.

      • mateor

        July 22, 2013 at 6:44 pm

        RobertWelch Pelican Poster mateor I feel like all of that “where he feels comfortable” is nothing but a sound bite and he will be going to whomever has a mutli-year contract ready for him. If everyone is just offering the vet minimum, then I expect the Heat, b/c Lebron makes you look GOOD.

  5. RobertWelch

    July 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    I want to go on record with a proposal for a nickname for the Pelicans next year. I know it’s really too early for that, but I’ve been thinking about it and feel this is a good one to at least start the conversation with now. My proposal is:
    ‘The Second Line Flyers’
    I think it works on a few levels, first the reference to flying ties into the Pelicans name, but also I expect it will work as a description of how the team may operate at a fast pace, by looking at who is on the roster currently. Then there is the Second Line reference, of course a native to New Orleans term, but also one that is a march back from a funeral. If there is anything that this team is doing right now, it’s marching back from a funeral, and it’s doing so with an upbeat attitude. So that’s my suggestion, and I hope they live up to it.

    • Pelican Poster

      July 22, 2013 at 4:19 pm

      RobertWelch We’ve technically had two funerals already (Jazz and Hornets) so we should know how to handle it better than most, as is the case with most things it seems!  I still think about these cities with riots after winning something big and we just chill out, loving the moment and each other, and throwing a REAL parade!  Yes, we are awesome!

    • SamuelWhoDatWilcher

      July 22, 2013 at 8:00 pm

      RobertWelch Bayou Babes

      • Pelican Poster

        July 22, 2013 at 8:12 pm

        SamuelWhoDatWilcher RobertWelch Dance Team = Tail Feathers

  6. dschmid4

    July 22, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    next voodoo move ? the knicks are shopping Shumpert. Would you trade RIver for him? Would the Knicks take the trade?
    I like Rivers. I think he will become a valuable contributor, especially of if one our 3 core guards go down.
    But I think Shumpert would be too good to pass up. Not sure the Knicks would bite, but Dolan is supposedly “mad” at him for not playing summer league.

  7. Pingback: Rolling the Bones | New Orleans Pelicans News

  8. Pelican Poster

    July 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Vacation Week Guys???
    Just reported that It’s down to either the Heat or the Pelicans for Oden and he may announce as early as tomorrow (Monday)!!!!!  C’mon Monty, let’s get it done!

  9. Pelican Poster

    July 28, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    And what do you know!  He played on an AAU team with Eric Gordon in 2005…check out Gordon filling it up from the outside in the video:
    and in this one Oden/Conley vs Gordon in high school…one of the most incredible defensive plays you will ever see made by Gordon about half way thru it…

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