Pelicans Defeat Hapless Knicks Behind Anderson, Evans

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Published: December 1, 2013
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A single victory can’t possibly make up for losing Anthony Davis for an undetermined amount of time with a broken hand, but that’s life as a New Orleans Pelicans fan. Ryan Anderson was a terror on offense, Tyreke Evans played well throughout, and Al-Farouq Aminu did the little things required late to win an ugly game as the birds squeaked out a win against a mediocre Knicks squad.

Our guys really didn’t come out of the gates playing very well on offense, to say the least. As the first quarter drew to a close their field goal percentage was somewhere around 24. I’d like to say they settled too much, but the results were just as bad from near as they were from far– 2-9 from the paint and 2-10 from outside. Yuck.

While the Pelicans probably couldn’t handle a quarter of ineptitude quite like we saw tonight against an elite squad, the Knicks are elite only in wasting money and talent. The deficit was only four after the first.

The second quarter started with a flurry of action… on twitter. We got word that Anthony Davis was sitting on the sideline in obvious pain, his left hand appearing to be the culprit. He would disappear to the locker room for the majority of the quarter, a development lost on the TV crew who didn’t even mention his disappearance until he had already returned to the bench.

Almost immediately upon seeing Davis back on the sidelines news broke that he’d suffered a non-displaced fracture in his left hand and would miss not only the rest of the game but substantially more time. How much remains to be seen.

On the court the Pelicans plodded along, continuing their ugly play from the first quarter while finding more success from the field as their shots began to fall against the ever porous Knicks D. Again, it was fortunate their opposition was the Knicks and not a real NBA defense.

It was also fortunate that Ryan Anderson is healthy and able to take the place of Anthony Davis in the starting lineup. He was the go-to scorer, connecting on 8 of his 14 shots in the second and third quarters. Three of those were triples, and his 20 points paced the Pelicans as they erased a five point halftime deficit. He would finish with 31 points on 21 shots.

They held a seven point lead and appeared primed to enter the fourth quarter with a solid advantage, but the final 50 seconds didn’t go according to plan. Missed free throws by Evans, a three second violation by Amundson, and a bad foul by Roberts left the Pelicans with only a 76-74 lead as they entered the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter opened with Amundson- Aminu- Evans- Rivers- Roberts, which as you can expect didn’t go well on defense. (I literally wrote that last sentence before the quarter started). While Monty can’t be faulted for the Knicks getting hot from three-land, it’s hard to think they won’t take open three’s when they’re available. Plus, which matchup didn’t favor the Knicks on offense?

Monty needed a better defense out there. Offensively we did alright thanks to the Knicks pure lack of skill, but it just wasn’t enough to overcome the defensive shortcomings. Four minutes in they’d been outscored by eight and Monty had to call timeout for his team to gather their composure. I just don’t quite get why he insists on trotting out entire units of bench players game after game to start the fourth quarter.

Holiday and Anderson came in for Rivers and Amundson and within 40 seconds the score was even. Thanks, guys!

From there on out the Pelicans did their thing, playing average offense and passable defense which is essentially designed to encourage the opposition to play hero-ball. Believe it or not, the Knicks obliged. They took long shot after long shot, followed by long shots. Carmelo and co made a few here and there, and Eric Gordon certainly made things interesting with an untimely turnover, but the Knicks are just too bad right now to do anything but lose.

We may have won the battle, but it’s hard to see how beating a weak Knicks team and losing Anthony Davis for at least a few weeks helps in the war. We’ll take a bittersweet victory over the alternative, but it’s hard to be happy after this one.

It didn’t really fit in my review  since I’m not doing bullets, but Tyreke Evans played one of his best games of the season despite not making a single shot from outside the paint. He drove successfully, didn’t settle too much, and avoided making costly mistakes. He wound up with 24 points on 13 shots, 7 assists, 4 steals and just 1 turnover. Find me another wing who can say they scored 24 on 13 shots without making anything outside the paint.

16 comments
xman20002000
xman20002000

So we have a professed young veteran team but its Sophomore Super Star is out... The more you crash the greater the probability of injury... Older players don't fall as much...  LOL...  Moving on Coach is coaching Mr. Aminu based on his personality and potential...  Another 23 year old but an upside on D that is fun to watch...  This guy should have been on Melo earlier but the Knicks are too bad for words... 

It's a great thing we have a player like Anderson who can run up the numbers...  and agreeing that neither Withey nor Stiemsma was suited out...  With AD out both might play... or at least Withey... 

Caffeinedisaster
Caffeinedisaster

I knew that eventually Tyreke would settle in and start attacking the basket successfully, but every time I see him take a mid-range shot I cringe.  It's almost as bad as when Aminu takes the same shot. (which is bad)

Brow still has his right hand so maybe he can practice his hook while recovering.

bradlaborde
bradlaborde

Sure seemed like the Knicks (team, fans, and media) looked at this game vs the Pels as a slump buster.  F* them.  

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

What about the decision to have Withey inactive while Stiemsma is injured. We got away with it because the Knicks suck, but it was a stupid move. Zero minutes for Miller and two "centers" riding the pine in suits.....Aminu deserves headliner status in this game along with Anderson and Evans.

nolahog
nolahog

Fortunately, Davis' fracture is to his non shooting hand, so even though he's out for the next 4 weeks, he'll be able to step right back in and go to work once the cast is off.  The other guys on this team will need to step up in his absence.

Anyone here that still thinks we should trade Ryan Anderson for Asik or Greg Monroe needs to check themselves into a mental institution.  The only players out there that would be an upgrade over Anderson are guys that teams aren't going to give up (i.e. superstars).  He's a true leader on this team, and he's clearly better than he was even last season.  It's not coincidence that our record has turned around since he returned, and tonight showed why.

Put da team on yo' back, doh!

Aminu. . . HUGE tonight.  He shut down Melo and exposed him for the weak bitch that he is.  Do what you do, Chief.

Knicks aren't a great team, but this was still a decent win for us.  The guys will learn to get better in Davis' absence and will be ready to rock and roll when the Brow returns! 


504ever
504ever

No mention of Aminu?  His defense on Melo?  His rebounding and key blocked shot?  His offense?

LaNative
LaNative

We actually made NBATV but I guess it was because we played the Knicks, who are sorely missing Tyson Chandler.  With the Knicks under so much pressure to win, they're definitely in desperate mode but I'm all for winning so that's their bad.  However, AD's injury is devastating since he is our best player and brings it game-to-game.  This team goes as he goes but fortunately for us Ryno and Tyreke stepped up (as did others) and got the win.  The questions we now face are:  (1) How long will this injury sideline AD; and,  (2) Who will give us consistent scoring now that defenses will focus on Ryno?  Hopefully, it's not as bad as it appears (at least that's what I'm hoping).

mojart
mojart

AD injury the same as jj reddick suffered or worse?i hope AD misses only a week or a couple....

xman20002000
xman20002000

AD is arguably our best player and we still won the game...  shout out to Aminu...

504ever
504ever

@nolahog   Almost wrote something very similar about Anderson.  Can't think of a better shooting big man or a better stretch 4.  

Anderson value is he spreads the defense to the benefit of other bigs and drivers alike.  Anderson and Evans complimented each other so much.  It's not a surprise they scored over half of the Pelican's points.

Hornets247
Hornets247

@504ever I mentioned Aminu in the second sentence. "Al-Farouq Aminu did the little things required late to win an ugly game"

To expand, he was crucial to our victory.

swellican
swellican

He is our best player. Hands down

504ever
504ever

@Hornets247 @504ever Maybe "No mention" was too strong.  But "no details' when Anderson and Evans get a paragraph each seemed like a slight to Aminu.