Magic Go Bird Hunting

Published: November 1, 2013

New Orleans: 12 turnovers, 20 made free throws, 44 rebounds, 92 field goal attempts
Orlando: 19 turnovers, 21 made free throws,  44 rebounds, 70 field goal attempts

What a beautiful stat line! New Orleans didn’t turn the ball over, got plenty of shot opportunities, and matched Orlando on the boards.. and got DEMOLISHED.

In a first half that could only be described as a train wreck, the Pelicans scored 35 points against an allegedly inferior team.. well, it sure didn’t look like the Pelicans were better tonight.

The tone was set early by Vucevic and Nelson, as Vucevic took Smith in the post and faced him up, and Nelson was bombing 3s from downtown. Davis got out to a hot start with 2 early buckets, but soon hit a cold spell.

After that, it was all Afflalo, who just wrecked the Pelicans all night long en route to 30 points on 14 shots.

Quite frankly, I don’t even know what to say about this game. The Magic just destroyed us. The Pelicans offense looked stagnant and the Orlando Heat–er, Magic, played as if they were one of the best offenses in the league.

Remember how I said the Magic were a jump shooting team? Well, apparently New Orleans was unaware, as the Magic hoisted up jumper after jumper as if it was a shootaround.

Notes and Observations

-Davis may have been inefficient, but he posted a monster line. 26 points, 17 rebounds, and 3 blocks for AD, who was one of the lone bright spots in the game. AD’s preseason was no fluke: this guy is going to be scary good.

-Gordon ran very little of the offense tonight, as Jrue commandeered the Pels squad almost the entire time he was in. This may have been a product of Monty wanting to attack Nelson (guarding Jrue) rather than attacking Afflalo (guarding Gordon).

-Tyreke is very, very rusty. He only got into 2 preseason games because of that ankle injury and his rust is showing. Evans was 0-7  on the night.

-Smith stayed out of foul trouble, but his game was off tonight. He went 3-12 from the field.

-Stiemsma either needs to do something on offense or needs to be off the floor. Defenses simply don’t respect him and passing to him is essentially a reset of the offense. Defenses are sagging off of him and just helping on everyone else and it is making it much harder on the other Pelicans.

-Rivers got his first time of the season after sitting the bench for the entire Pacers game. The Pelicans became a noticeably more energetic squad with him on the floor. Granted, his playing time happened when the game was essentially over, but there is one undeniable truth: when Rivers plays, he works his butt off. His effort may have been meaningless in terms of the outcome, but I really appreciated his effort.

-Morrow can flat out shoot. He got fouled on a corner 3, didn’t get the call, and somehow still drained the shot. He is one of the best pure shooters we’ve ever had sport a New Orleans jersey.

-Withey made his first appearance in the regular season in garbage minutes and did a solid job defending Nicholson in the post. Again, it was in meaningless minutes, but I think he needs to get a shot at some playing time. He is at least athletic enough to crash the rim on offense and block shots on defense. New Orleans has gotten virtually nothing from Stiemsma and Onuaku and at this point, I don’t see why Withey can’t at least get a chance.



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