Monty tightens Rotation as Pelicans handle 76ers
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.
- 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!
Like Monty say it not the rotation its about managing the game coaching instints and it should be playing to your players strenth putting them in position to win. Davis, Aminu, Anderson Gorden, Holiday, Evans, Smith, Morrow. I also like Rivers and Roberts off the bench. We got to control the boards
Pelicans were tops in the league heading into last night, giving up just 21% of offensive rebounds. Last night, Philly's offensive rebound rate was 37.5%!
No Aminu is great for the offense, I admit. But if we can't control the boards against an average rebounding team, what do you think the good one's will do to us.
Morrow in for Aminu was fun to watch, but its not the long term solution. Not if we want to win.
They did have a slow start but I think that was due to the lineup change. They had like 3 or 4 straight possesions where the ball just stayed in morrows hands while everyone just stood still. Rotations were slow in the first quarter better in rest of the game still not where they need to be.
I don't think I've seen Gordon move the ball like this since he's been here. I'd take 7 assists from him every night. I think this is his second straight game with 7 assists
I would trade Aminu and Roberts for a seventh round pick (and, yes, I know the NBA Draft is only two rounds).
Monty finally realized that to be a successful the floor will need to be spaced. I loved the lineup change, teams cant just pack the paint. I hoped Aminu would have a better season then last year, but that doesnt look like it will happen and I think he may not be a Pelican must longer (he had his CHANCES). I agree, I would much rather Rivers over Roberts. Last night in about a minute in a half span Roberts had a turnover and two fouls. He can shoot thats about it, he is 27 and he is what he is and thats all we are coming to get outta him. Its time to move on from these two.
It's such a nice feeling to wake up in the morning, look back on last night's game, and say, "All's right in the world as a Pelicans fan." Now, we just need more mornings like this.
Good game tonight. I have some observations as well...
1. Eric Gordon is really good. And when the 76ers pressed he needs the ball in his hands. He killed them on the press and was able to drive and shoot at will.
2. AD23 needs to be the first option every time we have the ball. He is becoming a top 5 player in the league and the offense should go through him always. I understand we have a ton of guys who can light it up, but when the ball moves through him everyone benefits.
3. I loved the rotation tonight. For the first time in a long time I was glad with the minutes everyone played. I hope to see more of this. We are the youngest team in the league. Our top 5 should all play close to 40 a night. We have to, our bench is that bad. If we had a decent bench, then yes we could rotate more, but we don't. Roberts, aminu, amundlson, and stiesma should be in the d league.
4. Can we find a big man anywhere? The omer asik for Ryno is not going to happen, and we will not trade the best 3 pt shooter in the league for asik. But is there a big man sitting on the couch somewhere? He doesn't have to be great but a defensive presence is all we need. Play Whithey for Christ sake! Call Shaquille and see if he will lace them up again.
5. And when d miller gets back I expect demos to make a trade. We have too many guards. Aminu and Roberts should go if anyone in their right mind would take them.
@Michael McNamara do you have a breakdown of how many of the OFF REBS took place in the 4th art?…….the margin of victory was very healthy….teams to t end to get a lil slack in def feb when leading by solid numbers.
@Michael McNamara Nothing Monty does will make you happy. It's sad you have a stage to perpetuate this bias
@Come On Pelican I disagree. I know we won last night, but I was just as bothered by some things as I have been in some wins. Thaddeus Young, an undersized PF, had EIGHT offensive rebounds against us. Also, we barely got to the FT line.
Get away with things like that against a bad team. Play the exact same way against good teams and the 'Fire Monty' chants will return and people will be asking 'What's Wrong?" Answer: The same things that were wrong when we destroyed that bad team. Still got a ways to go. I think we can get there, but I hope people don't panic when the losses start coming again.
@GerryV @Michael McNamara 4 of the 18 offensive rebounds Philly had in that game came in the 4th. It would be nice to think that it came when the game was over, but that is simply not the case. The team has bad spacing with Aminu in and will have a tough time rebounding w/o him. Just going to have to decide between the lesser of two evils.
@Michael McNamara @Come On Pelican I agree @mcnamara, we made countless mistakes, it was kind of annoying. I hate when I watch basketball with my friend who Is really a football person, but he is happy that we are winning and I look like a grouch because all i see is missed swing passes, bad fast breaks, brian Roberts, brian Roberts again, and missed defensive assignments. Until we tighten that up I will continue to expect losses to good teams but hope for victories
It seems to me that Monty Williams has always preferred coaching a team with a legitimate starting center and that part of this Pelicans team's defensive struggles are due to the absence of one and the challenges Williams has faced without a full roster. I'm hoping for a mid-season trade of Eric Gordon (I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he stays healthy) for a solid 5 and am hoping the "fire Monty" crowd will withhold judgment until he has a complete compliment of players to coach.
I think we are only winning because of the talent on our roster and not because of the scheme or plays of monty....if you look at our 7 wins this season....
@mojart So if we finish with about 50% more wins than last year [around 40-42], which is a huge jump for any NBA team (especially one so young and with so many new pieces in the last two years), there is something wrong with Monty?