The Pelicans Demolish Philadelphia in Ryan Anderson’s Season Debut

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Published: November 16, 2013
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Let’s just wait until Ryan Anderson comes back until we evaluate this team and its head coach.

This was the plea of several fans and writers as the Pelicans blew huge leads and lost several winnable games over the first two weeks of the season. Well, Ryan Anderson is back, and now it is time to overreact the other way. Print those Finals tickets baby!!

In all seriousness, there was some beautiful basketball being played tonight in the Pelicans 135-98 win some of it a direct result of Ryan Anderson, but not all of it. Tyreke Evans looked incredibly explosive and finished well at the rim for the second straight game, but a lot of that happened without Anderson on the floor. More three’s were taken tonight (a lot more), but that started even before Anderson checked in the game, as the team took three trey’s in their first six minutes – which would put them on pace for 24 (double their average).

But when Anderson was on the court….. Oh that was more beautiful than Josh Childress’s gorgeously poofed afro. Ryno came in and hit his first four shots, scoring ten points in just under five minutes as the Pelicans pushed their lead to 12 at the end of the first quarter. But this game was different because the Pelicans continued to extend their double-digit lead throughout the game. The lead was 21 at the half, and 37 after three quarters. Was that because of Monty changing some things? Was it the Sixers? Was it the other guys stepping up at home after three embarrassing home losses? In all likelihood, it is a little bit of everything mixed with a whole lot of Ryan Anderson.

Notes and Observations

– Easily Jrue Holiday’s best game as a Pelican and it just so happened to come against his former team. 14 points on just 9 shots, 12 assists, and just ONE turnover. He played with great pace, ran the fast break to perfection, and never dribbled into traffic or got stuck in the air. This was the guy that Dell Demps traded two picks for back in July and if he can play like this, it will look like a steal no matter who Philly takes next year.

– The Pelicans had more than 100 points by the end of the third quarter. Free fries were achieved before concession stopped selling beer. That has to be a first.

– Al-Farouq Aminu teases us every couple of games, and since he knew fans would be watching closer than ever with Ryno’s return, he chose to tease us tonight. 10 points on 5 shots and 6 rebounds in just 18 minutes, but that doesn’t even tell half the story. He played with the energy that Monty begs him to play with every night. On nights like these, we hope that we can re-sign him for a decent price. On other nights, we question why he is even on the team.

– Anthony Davis: 28 minutes. 13 points, 9 rebounds, 8 blocks. Perhaps the only bad thing about winning a game by 37 points is that Anthony Davis missed out on his chance to get his first career triple-double. As I said in the preview, the Sixers like to spread you out and get to the rim. Unfortunately for them, the Pelicans have Davis to protect the rim. He terrorized Philadelphia tonight, and if the game were close, we would have witnessed a historic night.

– Jason Smith is no slouch either, as he registered 3 blocks in just 21 minutes. This is the exact role Smith will play now that Ryan Anderson is back, and he was simply phenomenal. 4-4 shooting, 8 points, 7 rebounds, 3 blocks, and a +30 in those 21 minutes. So many guys played great tonight, but Smith was my favorite Pelican on this evening because he played within himself and gave the team every ounce of effort he could in the limited time he was out there.

– Speaking of our bigs, Monty went with a three-man rotation when the game was close, and I could see that being the norm moving forward, especially against finesse teams like Philadelphia. Ryno, AD, and Smith could easily play 90 of the 96 minutes at the 4 and 5, while Aminu gets the other 6 in a small ball lineup. Against bigger teams, you could give Amundson or Withey those minutes, but most good teams only play 8 or 9 guys. No reason the Pelicans HAVE to play ten, especially when going from one of their top three bigs to #4 is such a massive downgrade.

– The Pelicans scored 30+ points in every quarter. Now, I understand that the 76ers aren’t world beaters, but neither are the Jazz, Lakers, Magic, or Suns and we lost a total of five games to those teams. This team simply looked different tonight.

– The Pelicans made more three-pointers (13) than they TOOK on average over the first nine games (12). Tonight, they took 28 total, including 10 by Ryan Anderson.

– Eric Gordon was terrific tonight, and I am not mentioning him until right now – that’s how many good things there are to say about tonight’s game. 19 points on just 12 shots, and a team leading three steals to go with three assists and three boards in just 26 minutes. Oh yeah, and Tyreke Evans was fantastic as well. Too many positive things to say, not enough time!!

– And perhaps the biggest upgrade -Monty Williams has grown so much as a coach these past three days. I mean, he looked so much better tonight didn’t he?

– Only guy who played worse tonight? Anthony Morrow. Will the return of Ryan Anderson take away the need to have Morrow on the floor? We won’t know after just one game, but it is something to watch over the next few weeks.

– If there was a garbage time All-Star game, Austin Rivers might get voted in. He got about seven and a half minutes once the game was already decided and he attacked the rim relentlessly while also draining a trey. 12 points on just 6 shots for Rivers, including 3-4 from the line!

– Just so many positives from this game, but let’s wait to we rush to judgment on how good this team will be now that Ryno is back. This team will get a couple of good tests this month before a potentially brutal December. Maybe they will start cranking out wins, maybe not. But if tonight was any indication, this team will be fun to watch!

19 comments
LaNative
LaNative

I'm excited about the win.  This is the team we all thought we'd see early on and it was good they were in full effect tonight.  But, we all know, it's just one game.  Philly isn't that good but they have beaten some decent teams this year and are better than the 0-8 Jazz when they issued us a loss.  However, this win is a sampling of what can be if they remain aggressive.  Each win will build their confidence and hopefully Monty is willing to make adjustments.  Good win Pelicans.  Let's keep it up.

isthisyourhomeworklawrence
isthisyourhomeworklawrence

Guys, cmon, im as relieved by this performance as anyone, but the debby downer reailty is that we beat a team with arguabley one of the worst rosters in the last decade of the nba. Love seeing ryno out there spacing the floor, but this victory is hardly a litmus test.

PelicanDownUnder
PelicanDownUnder

It was so nice to see the quality of basketball the Pelicans were playing tonight, you hit every point on the head Mike (especially your 4th last one haha). After watching the Wolves-Nuggets game yesterday it's so good to see that we can play up to the level of some of our western conference playoff contenders, lets hope this is sustainable.

xman20002000
xman20002000

Well there was a reason we won so many games in the preseason...  it seems Anderson uplifts our shooting adding confidence throughout the team...  And let's not hate on Morrow just having an off nite...  Anderson did have a few last season...  We also know Tom Benson isn't going to dump Coach..  so why are some of us writing about the subject...

Now the 76ers aren't that strong in the paint...  but we were shooting well all around and getting penetration.... Great game...

504ever
504ever

Loved the write up, Michael.  (Remember this, too.)  And I want to emphasize that we were taking more 3s even before Anderson entered the game.  Oh, and whether because of Anderson or because Tyreke was healthier, Tyreke Evans played a  great game and his game.  This is a nice introduction to what the Pelicans can be.

Aussie Pels Fan
Aussie Pels Fan

The lineup of Holiday, Gordon, Evans, Anderson and Davis looked promising out there tonight. The three guards seemed to really share the ball well

Major504
Major504

I dont think we wil be hearing anymore talk about trading Ryno, he is a very important pieces to this team. Tonight looked like the preseason for the first time but the game actually counted this time.

jmald1
jmald1

I love wat I was seeing from monty nd im not gonna lie I was a monty basher but he had good lineups nd showed sum energy out there I missed ryno but I want to see if da pels  can sustain dis offense for my judgement dis is da sorry 76ers dis is wat we should expect cmon pelicanS ONE GAME AT A TIME BABY LOL

mojart
mojart

I know its just one game....but I hope it cures all our hatred on monty this past week....winning cures everything....geaux pels!

RobertWelch
RobertWelch

@xman20002000 If the Pels play more games like they did in LA, then Benson would have to consider a change at coach (as advised by Loomis, Demps and ticket sales). He's not going to get rid of most of the players, other than a possible trade(s) somewhere down the line. But coach is the first line of change when things are in the dumps. In the course of just one game we've gone from the bottom of the barrel to the top of the Ritz. Reality is somewhere between those two. If it's closer to bottom of the barrel, then change is going to be on the table. Let's hope it's one of the upper floors at the Ritz.

Pelican Poster
Pelican Poster

@Aussie Pels Fan Absolutely the same thought I had while watching Jrue, Reke, Gordon, Brow, and Ryno together on the court...I recall articles of concern regarding our defense when Anderson and Davis are the court together...seemed serviceable enough...offensively though, with the other three guards out there it was amazing to see how many open looks Ryno had...on one in the second half from the top it was almost like he completely stopped and grinned because there was not a sole near him...it seems to be a perfect offensive combination for our penetrators and Davis just cleans up all the defensive and sometimes offensive messes, before they become one...definitely would have had a triple double tonight if needed more...Gordon has really been playing lights out...most consistent Pel so far IMHO

RobertWelch
RobertWelch

@Aussie Pels Fan I must say, that does sound like a really lethal combination...especially if Evans plays to his potential.

Michael McNamara
Michael McNamara moderator

@Major504 If you can get Kevin Love for him, you will. Point is that every player has a price. Nobody wanted to trade Ryno because they thought he was terrible, they just thought we needed other things more. It is not an insult for people to put a player in a trade idea, just the opposite. It shows that people think he has value. 

That said, I agree that I wouldnt do Anderson for Asik, but you put Love or Monroe on the table and I will change my tune. 

RobertWelch
RobertWelch

@mojart Yes, unless it's a one off fluke. I don't think you really saw most fans calling for Monty's head until after several agonizing losses that really made it look like he didn't have a good handle on the team. I didn't get to see tonight's game, I'm glad I'm getting to read how good it was. But if they follow this win up with another loss like they had at LA, then this one win won't do much to quell those who feel he isn't right for the job. Winning cures all, because it's the name of the game, "Just win, Baby"...Al Davis understood. There are no moral victories in basketball.Follow this up with a series of like performances, especially against some better teams, and you've got something to really feel good about.

504ever
504ever

@RobertWelch @xman20002000   It was crazy to talk about Monty being fired before this game, and crazier after this game.  Except for Jason Smith, no one on this team was here two years ago.  (The 2nd anniversary of the CP3 trade isn't for another month!)  So Monty gets a reasonable amount of time to integrate all of the 14 new pieces (toys) Dell has provided him.  Of those 14, 6 are new this season!  Common Man!