Monty tightens Rotation as Pelicans handle 76ers

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Published: November 29, 2013

The Pelicans weathered an early and unusual three-point barrage from the 76ers, and when those shots dried up – like they should when you are playing a non-shooting team – kept adding to their lead bit by bit.  In the end, they won 121-105, and were never really threatened in the fourth quarter.

Despite the game not being fraught with peril, there were some fascinating developments.  Monty sat Aminu and didn’t play him a minute.  Instead, he started Morrow – but he didn’t give Morrow extended minutes either.  Instead, he rode his big perimeter guns hard, with Gordon and Holiday each getting more than 40 minutes and Tyreke a season-high 35.  Morrow got 17.

Even more interesting, Monty had a very deliberate rotation tonight.  In Quarters 1 and 3, Monty shifted out Jason Smith and Morrow with five and a half minutes to go, replacing them with Anderson and Evans.  That put the Closing five on the floor for the last five minutes. (Though both times he also took Holiday out with half a minute left to play, inserting Brian Roberts).   That’s 10 minutes of Closing Five Time.   Then, in quarters two and four, he fed players in and out until the sixth minute, when he completed getting his Closing five back on the floor.  If Ryan Anderson hadn’t been pulled during the last three minutes of the fourth to put another ball handler on the floor to deal with the continuous and desperate 76ers press, we would have been treated to 22 minutes of Closing Five Time.   Those five in the win:

  • AD: 22, 10, 3, 2, 4
  • EG: 26,2,7,2,0
  • JH: 20,7,13,3,1
  • RA: 18,8,2,0,0
  • TE: 16,5,4,4,1

They shot a combined 43-75.   Of course, the Sixers aren’t a very good ballclub, either.  But still.

Observations:

  • I hate the Dumb zone – but Eric Gordon had a sick jab step, side dribble, step back shot in the first that spun Turner all around and hit nothing but net.  I grinned like an idiot.
  • I felt that Jrue was determined to show up Carter-Williams tonight.  He was locked in defensively, and made the game really hard on the rookie.
  • Need to return to Gordon.  Brilliant game attacking the basket tonight.  He was locked in from deep too – but he just kept slipping into the seams and getting to the rim.  If he was on a team that didn’t have two other attacking guards on it, he’d easily be averaging over 20 a game.
  • I wonder when guards will learn that being switched on to Anthony Davis is a bad thing – and that maybe they should look for the big now posting a smaller player.  Because you aren’t fast enough to out-quick Anthony Davis’ s length.  Sorry.
  • I’m still trying to figure out if I’m just being stupid about this – but I’d rather see Austin Rivers playing than Brian Roberts.
  • At one point Evans and Anthony Davis had a collision.  Tyreke Evans barely shifted.  Anthony Davis went flying. It’s too bad we have a player already on this team with a nickname of Ryno, because Evans is a freaking Rhino.
  • Evan Turner was 7-43 from deep coming into this game.  He promptly buried three threes.
  • 76ers coach Brett Brown lost his mind in the second when Anderson got free on a pick and pop for his second clean three-pointer.  He took five steps out onto the court yelling at his guys, stomped around, and screamed down the bench for a sub.  Rage.
  • Twice in the first quarter, Jason Smith rung up 19-foot jumpers – but he had a wide open Morrow on the wing waiting for a swing pass.  With Aminu, that’s acceptable.  With Morrow in the lineup, it makes me put on my grumpy face.

Next game is Sunday!

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