Thin Ice

By:
Published: November 3, 2013
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If you should go skating on the thin ice of modern life
Dragging behind you the silent reproach of a million tear stained eyes
Don’t be surprised, when a crack in the ice appears under your feet
You slip out of your depth and out of your mind
With your fear flowing out behind you
As you claw the thin ice

— Pink Floyd, The Thin Ice

New Orleans Pelicans News

The New Orleans Pelicans had to wait until their third game to land their first (real) win with the new nickname, and it fittingly came over the Bobcats, who will take up the Hornets brand next season that the Pelicans shed this season. The 105-84 victory brought them to 1-2 for the week and overall.

The home opener was against the Pacers. After building a large lead, the Pelicans let it slip in the third until it was tied midway through the fourth. The Pelicans could not hold them back and lost 95-90.

The first road game of the season was a disaster, as the Pelicans started flat, shot under 35% from the field, and lost 110-90.

The coming week features 4 games: 2 against the Suns, 1 against the Grizzlies, 1 against the Lakers. The Sunday Suns game is not on FSNO or WWL radio.

Along with the changes on the court, there are new things for fans to enjoy at the game. On opening night, the new mascot was unveiled: Pierre the Pelican. Pierre won over other names in a fan vote. Also, there are several new food options.

On the injury front, Ryan Anderson has missed each game with a chip fracture in a toe that was announced on opening night. He’s projected to miss 1-3 weeks, therefore, he could return this week. Darius Miller is the only other Pelican with a known issue.

The Pelicans’ other Pierre, Pierre Jackson, entered the D-League Draft and was selected by the Idaho Stampede, the affiliate of the Portland Trail Blazers. Provided Jackson was offered a contract by the Pelicans this summer, they retain his rights. If this is the case, another NBA team can not sign Jackson without obtaining his rights from the Pelicans.

Around Bourbon Street Shots

Gerry V joined Ryan and Michael to discuss the Pelicans and their players on In the NO.

Michael Pellisier examined Tyreke and the “Horns” set.

Also, we’ll two live events this week. One is s live recording of Trew to the Game, hosted by Chris Trew. This will be at 6:00 at Little Gem Saloon (445 South Rampart, near Poydras) starting at 5:00 CT on Tuesday before the Suns game. Then, we will be having a watch party at Tracey’s on Wednesday.

`Voices’ of the People

I was at the game last night and the Magic players we hitting damn near every shot even with tight defense. We miss damn near every shot even the easy ones. And I agree that Withey should get more mins, can’t learn how to play NBA ball if your not on the court. His future is brighter then those other two guys who names I don’t need to mention. Once Ryno comes back, we will see the team we were hoping to see the team we saw in preseason, but thats 3 or more games away.

Major504

If Anderson doesn’t play, the team may not win a game if they play like they did tonight. Our already thin frontcourt is even more depleted, and we also lost a great shooter that would have helped our guards do what they do better (hey Tyreke).

Games against teams like the Magic are games you’re usually expected to win and therefore must win…but it just seemed like the team didn’t show up tonight. Even though the outcome of both games so far was the same (90 points scored in a loss), I was much more impressed with the team in the game against the Pacers. Tonight, while the Magic did have a good game (give credit where credit is due), play just seemed sloppy for the Pels all night. I’m glad we did have some garbage time though, so Rivers was able to play more. I think it’s ridiculous that Roberts has played over him

Jason Quigley

Great quote from Monty Williams after last night’s win: Anthony Davis “is doing it every single night but I think that he can be better. I want him to attack the basket more. Obviously I love the points but he’s only scratching the surface as to where he’s going to be as he gets stronger and learns how to draw more fouls.”

Come On Pelican

42 Sense

The opening to the season provided some excitement, then disappointment, then more disappointment, then some guarded optimism finally with the performance against the hapless and Jefferson-less Bobcats. In preseason, the overreaction was to Jrue Holiday’s perceived turnover problem, but as it turns out his 18:10 assist:turnover ratio is in line with his role, if a little lower than desirable. He’s also scored 55 points, which cuts down on possible assists while not turning the ball over.

The underreaction was to Evans’ absence. In 71 regular season minutes, Evans has scored just 19 points on 31 shots, and did not make it to the free throw line until his third game, and then only 3 times (hitting all 3). With 9 rebounds (all defensive), 13 assists, and 7 turnovers, he’s delivered as an off-the-bench distributor, but the results have been underwhelming. Given his performance in the past, this seems to be a by-product of missing those chances to get in shape and in sync.

The good news, if just in one game against the Bobcats, is that his assist total in this third game exceeded his output in the first two combined. His rebounds doubled his total in first two games. Going 0 of 7 in Orlando from the field, it’s no surprise that his scoring total was also much better in the most recent outing, scoring 15 points on 16 shots. He’s only made one basket outside the paint, but his percentage of outside shots has decreased from the first game, as well.

There is room for improvement, but waiting for Tyreke to get his legs underneath him after missing most of preseason may pay emotional and analytical dividends. Finishing, getting to the line, and improving from outside the paint (he’s not particularly strong from distance, however) are all areas where Tyreke can improve, and the team will improve as a result if he does.

Also, these first few games can be considered as a gauge of where the team is when down a player and a half (Anderson and Evans). They competed with East-leading (with Philadelphia!) when they were on the end of a back-to-back, completely failed to shoot against the 2-2 Orlando, and could handle the Bobcats when their best player did not play. So, a reduced strength Pelicans teams is below average, but competitive, as opposed to being a doormat like the Hornets were last season when Gordon and Davis were out.

While the outcomes in the first two games were not joyful, the circumstances beg observers for patience since there are signs of improvement to come when the roster is a full strength in the coming weeks.

Of course, it also says that the team just will not be able to make the playoffs if they deal with injuries all season. The depth just is not there, particularly in the frontcourt. Gordon and Holiday picked up Evans’ slack in the first two games (49, 29, 21 points by the pair in the three games so far). No one is there to pick up Anderson’s slack or offer a defensive rise to counter the offensive fall due to his absence.

The Pelicans are on thin ice, but at least the are on it, not under it. Yet.

6 comments
xman20002000
xman20002000

There isn't enough data to make even a preliminary generalization about the team nor its players...  Certainly winning one game against the Bobcats provides nothing but a confidence booster...

Jason Quigley
Jason Quigley

Well...I guess I was wrong about the team not getting another win, but I'm glad they proved me wrong by playing phenomenal defense last night en route to a blowout of (another team they were expected to win against) the Bobcats. 

Also, I think what you said about our depth is true--but only for the frontcourt. The way you talked about Gordon and Holiday covering for a struggling Evans could also happen if Holiday and Evans cover for a struggling Gordon, for example. And if an injury occurs, Rivers isn't on the level of those three yet, but he's always ready and waiting to play. 

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes moderator

Sure there is. All projections come with uncertainty. If you disallow all knowledge of history, the uncertainty overwhelms everything. If you bring in some experience (a la a Bayesian), then you can. You see all my data, limitations.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes moderator

@Jason Quigley In fairness to you, they did not play so badly again, which was your point, and  I think a good one. The shooting was awful. I have no idea why.

I think the depth is bad "particularly in the frontcourt" and the guard coverage is key, but small forward issues will thin the guards since Evans will have other duties or they'll just get hammered at that position unless Miller has really turned a corner.


xman20002000
xman20002000

@Jason Calmes So what is the generalization inferred by the analysis...of the data... especially considering all the changes in personnel and we have real data being presented in every game..  But OK so the Clippers just ran up 138 points...  Do we have the fire power to go toe to toe... in scoring...