Pelicans Rally, Beat Cavaliers

Published: November 22, 2013

“We gotta stay in-between the highs and lows.. cause it helps you think better. It helps you keep the season in perspective.” -Monty Williams after the game.

It’s a good time to be even. After falling behind by as many as 12 points in the 4th quarter, the Pelicans rallied behind their new Big 5 of Ryan Anderson, Anthony Davis, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, and Jrue Holiday to climb back to .500 in the standings.

It was a rough start. The Pelicans were getting deflections, but couldn’t get their hands on the ball.. and the Cavs were burning us for it. In fact, no one could catch the ball, period. It was ugly. No one could stop the Cavs, who ARE HORRIBLE AT THE RIM, from scoring there.

In the theme of the night, Tyreke Evans brought us back. 19 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, 0 turnovers, and he earned every bit of his +18 rating tonight. Tyreke is back and wreaking havoc, and I love it.

The Pelicans struggled to contain Andrew Bynum tonight and were lucky that his 50 year old knees only allowed him to play 18 minutes, because he killed them: if he wasn’t scoring, he was altering shots or drawing double-teams and making the right pass.

Jrue’s defense on Kyrie Irving was fantastic. Irving had one stretch of 7 points in a few possessions, but it started with the Pelicans doubling hard on Bynum in the post and leaving Irving open for 3. Jrue tailed him around screens and kept him from doing too much of anything. Irving made a nice run at the end of the game, but was stymied for the rest of it.

Jarrett Jack received the always-infuriating 150% skill boost that every ex-New Orleans player seems to get and was 9-13 from the field. How typical.

The Pelicans defense was off almost the entire night, with players like Earl Clark and Sergey Karasev reaping the benefits of botched or slow rotations. Dion Waiters was making life miserable for the Pelicans for a couple of stretches as well.

And then IT happened. The Big 5 happened. The Pelicans were down 12 with under 5 minutes to play, and then it started.

Jrue hit a huge 3.
Davis drilled a pair of free throws.
Anderson hit a 3.
Tyreke drove in transition and missed, but was followed by Anthony Davis.
Evans hit a layup to put the Pelicans ahead, but Kyrie answered..
Jrue found Gordon in the corner for a 3 to take the lead.
Aminu was subbed in for defense and the Pelicans got a stop.
Tyreke was intentionally fouled and hit both free throws.
Jrue was intentionally fouled and hit both free throws.


This win meant a lot to both the players and the coaches. Players were chest-bumping on the court. Monty Williams brought back his chest-bump after years of retirement. Players were singing in the shower.

And it meant a lot to me. The Pelicans have struggled playing from behind all season. Anthony Davis wasn’t playing well tonight, but kept with it and made huge plays at the end of the game. Gordon had some bad moments but hit a huge shot and was aggressive all game. Tyreke was great all game. Jrue was great all game. Ryno hit some huge shots. It was a team effort tonight.

Individual Notes

Aminu works hard, but he kills our offense. He is no threat to score from the perimeter and can’t handle the ball. That said, he is valuable as a stretch 4 defender and works hard on the boards.

Rivers got minutes tonight and Roberts didn’t see the floor. I’m not sure if it was situational or whether Rivers has replaced Roberts in the lineup, but this marks the second consecutive night that Roberts lost time to Rivers. This is something to watch going forward.


Like Monty says, we must take this win in stride.. this is not a good Cavs team and our defense was bad most of the game. But the team came up big when it counted, and that means something. The team faces an insanely tough back-to-back with San Antonio and Golden State, and times only get tougher. But for tonight, celebrate, because this was a hell of a comeback.



  1. loudlikepat

    November 22, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    Great recap. Had to leave the house at the half. Checked my phone with 4:50 left. Thought it was over. Glad it’s the weekend so I can catch the late game. Hell yeah! Can’t wait to see the fourth quarter. Way to step it up guys!!! Once again, excellent recap Michael.

  2. dxxpxx

    November 22, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    I’ve been waiting to see them pull out a win like this. exactly the reason I love basketball.. crunch time. the pelicans were clutch when it counted. and once again, we still haven’t seen Tyreke’s best yet, can’t wait for him to start scoring 20+ in more games. still great performance from him and great win for the team

  3. DavidLeBoeuf

    November 22, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Please play more lineups w/ Aminu at the 4.  He kills us offensively as a 3 but as a 4 he’s fine.  I’d much rather have him playing the 4 than Amundson or Stiemsma.

  4. Jason Quigley

    November 22, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Great win for the team. I’ll admit though, I didn’t think we could pull it out at the end there. I love what our “Big 5” (or as I like to call them, the All-Star lineup), can do. They got us out of a hole in the 1st quarter and the last quarter and played great together overall, even when Davis and Anderson weren’t having their best nights shooting. 
    And idk about Rivers either but I think Roberts may start to get more minutes. I liked that Rivers finally got playing time after getting none near the beginning of the season but he hasn’t been playing as well as he could have. (and work on your damn free throws!!)

  5. PelicanDownUnder

    November 22, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Strong close out for the team, keep building on these wins Pellies. I wouldn’t have been shocked if we had been a loss just because it seemed like one of those strange night where we couldn’t make our usual shots and everything was falling for the Cavs. But my goodness I will be surprised if Kyrie is ever the best player on a quality team, in the last 4 or so minutes after the Clark 3 pointer it was nothing but high screens and isolations. Sure he will make just enough shots in those plays to justify the decision by the coach but that’s not a recipe for quality playoff basketball. Definately not a top 10 player in this league and I would take Anthony Davis 100 times out of 100 over him.

  6. nolahog

    November 23, 2013 at 12:01 am

    There was a decent number of people who left with the team down 12 and 4:30 left in the game.  I thought to myself, “why are those people leaving?  There’s still plenty of time left in this game.”
    And there was.

  7. adfly

    November 23, 2013 at 2:51 am

    I’m not a fan of Roberts playing over rivers. When Roberts is in the pace slows down, opposition has easy driving lane against him, and with him at point its dribble dribble then pass for or shoot a last second shot. With rivers its the total opposite. Rivers just Doesn’t produce scoring. From what I’m seeing rivers has a more positive impact on the team than Roberts at this point

  8. GerryV

    November 23, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Aminu must be behind on his payments…his offensive game must be in some sort of lay away plan…..

  9. GerryV

    November 23, 2013 at 7:23 am

    PelicanDownUnder Kyrie is a talent…and how long has he been in the league? Consider that…Davis of course was blessed by the Hoop Gods

  10. GerryV

    November 23, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Roberts has slipped….Rivers was told if you wanna play show it on a daily basis..he amped up his practice habits……At the start of the year Roberts was the better player….Thats what happened when a player gets fed up and decides to get real serious about his a high draft pick can’t be wasted.

  11. GerryV

    November 23, 2013 at 7:27 am

    DavidLeBoeuf Dear Santa: Please bring Aminu a decent jumper or some sort of an offensive game.

  12. GerryV

    November 23, 2013 at 7:27 am

    loudlikepat DONUTS FOR ALL! I left them on the table!! Enjoy!!…Nice win!

  13. SamuelWhoDatWilcher

    November 23, 2013 at 8:28 am

    nolahog Monty made that point in the post game.  He said that it will come from the team and also commented that Jrue, before hitting the 3 told the team in a players only huddle that this is the time we grow up down 12 under 5 mins.  To say it is one thing but he brought the energy on both ends to close out this game.   A nice win.

  14. MikeWright0404

    November 23, 2013 at 10:43 am

    One stat from game: Pels 23 to 2 in fast break points. Pick up the pace, this team will succeed if it runs.

  15. Ddiamondd

    November 23, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    To mirror a statement frequently heard after ugly Saints wins, this team has won in different ways. This win against the Cavs was ugly but the team gritted it out; they held the scoring of both the Lakers and Grizzlies to the mid-80’s; they put up 135 on Philly. While we’re getting more consistent every day, it’s good to see that the team is finding a way to win.

  16. 504ever

    November 23, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    What I saw was last night was a Pelican’s organization that pulled ahead of the Cavalier’s organization on the path to the playoffs by bringing in quality established talent who were all on display:  Holiday, Evans, and even Davis (given the Cav’s 2013 #1 pick didn’t even play).  Those three Pelican’s players were all versatile enough to post double doubles and have scoring efficiencies well above 1.0.  And they pair well with Gordon, Anderson, and even Smith.

  17. Caffeinedisaster

    November 26, 2013 at 10:49 am

    This is the one game I was able to see in person.  Sandwiched in between two groups of Cavs fans in the stand I thought to myself “I’m gonna need bail money tonight”.
    I heckled Bynum at the FT line chanting “Welcome to Good Burger, Home of the Good Burger.  Can I take your order?!”.
    The team started out sloppily.  My wife mentioned that maybe we were bad luck.  I told her not to count us out yet.  Before we knew it, the ‘Cans went on a 12-2 run and were back in the game.  I think I may be converting her into a fan.
    Jrue played excellent D on Kyrie in the 1st half.  Any game where he only scores 22 is a winnnable game.
    At times it appeared the Cavs could not miss, but when the chips are down you find out what you’re made of.  We scrapped this one out at the end.  Good Job!
    Thanks to Calmes and NolaHog for the suggestions and advice about the area.  This was truly an unforgettable trip and I will make plans to be back in the spring time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.