Small Sample Size Theater

Published: November 17, 2013

Yes, it was the Sixers. And yes, it was just one game. But there isn’t another game until Wednesday, so this one game is all we have to go on for now!

With that in mind, I welcome you all to Small Sample Size Theater!

– The lineup often referred to as ‘The Closing Five’ or ‘The Big Five’ of Holiday, Gordon, Evans, Anderson, and Davis played 5.8 minutes together. In that stretch, they scored 20 points and gave up just 10. They shot 8 of 11 from the field, with five of those shots assisted on. They went 2-3 from deep, and would have been even more productive if they had hit their free throws, as they went just 2-4. If they would have hit those two free throw’s, they would have scored exactly two points per shot, a truly insane number.

The only negative in their time spent on the floor together was that they committed four fouls in less than six minutes. If that were to continue, the opposition would be in the bonus every quarter and some of these guys would be on the bench because of foul trouble. But that is just nitpicking. This unit would outscore people 168 – 82 per 48 minutes, so who cares about foul trouble?!

– The bench unit that we are most likely going to see moving forward (Roberts-Morrow-Evans-Ryno-Smith) played together for four minutes last night and outscored the 76ers 10-3. They had 11 possessions and went 4-7 from the field, 1-3 from deep, and 1-2 from the line, but on the down side, they also had three turnovers. The good news, however, is they got those possessions back, as they forced three steals and had a block that they recovered. With Smith doing a fantastic job protecting the rim this season and Evans playing plus-defense on the perimeter, this unit should be able to contain most second units.

– The five best two-man lineups (in terms of +/-)  for the Pelicans all include Ryan Anderson, with the Anderson/Evans combo leading the way. Those two played a total of 18.2 minutes together last night and the Pelicans outscored the Sixers 50-35. The team shot 59.4% as a whole and hit 7 of 13 from deep while committing just 3 turnovers (less than 8 turnovers per 48 minutes).

– Some feared that Ryan Anderson and Davis could not be on the court together because of defensive limitations, but they were fine last night, as the Pelicans outscored the 76ers 33-25 in the 12.8 minutes they were on the floor together last night. The Sixers shot just 37.5% in that stretch and averaged .938 points per possession – WAY down from the 1.10+ ppp that the duo gave up last year.

– The ‘Closing Five’ put forth the following numbers when they were on the court:

eFG%: 81.8  (Team Average this year: 48.9)

FTA Rate %: 36.4   (Avg. 21.4)

Opp FG% : 25%       (Avg. 47%)

– Ryan Anderson has a PER of 35.0 and is averaging 34.7 points per 36 minutes this year. Sixth Man of the Year? Pffff. How about M-V-P!

– And this has been an edition of Small Sample Size Theater everybody. Now, drive home safe.


  1. DavidLeBoeuf

    November 17, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Best thing Ryan Anderson does on defense is he is a SMART defender.  All of his rotations were correct, all of his closeouts were strong.  He may not be a good man to man defender, but as a team defender he is what we needed.  
    This team still needs one more big.  If any of our three bigs goes down, the drop off is DRAMATIC.  I really wish he would play Aminu as our 4th big in small ball lineups more often and put Amundson in only if we are playing against a team with a big bruiser down low.  

    Great win.  That is all.

  2. kwilly15bb

    November 17, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Calm down it’s just one game against the sixers too. Glad Anderson is back.

  3. DavidLeBoeuf

    November 17, 2013 at 10:40 am

    kwilly15bb definitely one game vs. a crap team.  It wasn’t the result, it was the way they played.  Getting to the rim and finishing, spacing the floor, actually TAKING 3 point shots, running off of missed shots and blocks offensively.  Defensively the switches were crisp, the rotations were strong and correct, people were in the right spots, opponents weren’t getting wide open looks.  If they would have played how they did vs. the Jazz, and won by 40, I wouldn’t be any more encouraged.  Baby steps.

  4. GerryV

    November 17, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Plus Philly was missing a very KEY player who could force rotations and gap attack plus score…guess who it was and win a donut….nice win for the Pels as they  did all i have asked for…attack early in the offense..bail out of plays and take the moment that the defense presents to you….ball changed sides of the floor…and weak side actions were much improved….quicker thinking……( pouring a her for all who are members of this site)

  5. Come On Pelican

    November 17, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Your article is an interesting illustration of why they say there are lies, damn lies and statistics.But on a more serious note, has there ever been a better time than right now to trade Eric Gordon?I would love to see a starting lineup of (1) Jrue Holliday, (2) Tyreke Evans, (3) Al-Farouq Aminu, (4) Anthony Davis and (5) [insert name here of starting center the Pelicans acquire in exchange for Gordon], with a rotating backcourt of Evans, Morrow, Roberts and Rivers.

  6. Pelican Poster

    November 17, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    GerryV   That would be MCW

  7. say_yeppers

    November 17, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    “Im In” and I have more “Passion Purpose and Pride” than ever!!

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