Tyreke Evans Hurt, Thunder Win
After an aggressive start to the game which saw no less then two two-handed dunks by Eric Gordon, the Pelicans were smothered by the Thunder defense and had real difficulty springing players for clean looks against a long, scrambling Thunder attack. The Thunder simply realized that without a good roll man (no Anthony Davis) the Pelicans weren’t going to be going to the basket on their pick and rolls – so they switched everything and leapt out on the big men as they slipped to their favorite spots for jumpers. The result was a bad shooting night from both Anderson and Smith – though Anderson did sort of make up for it by attacking and drawing free throws.
The strangest part of the game was the high number of Pelican turnovers for the team. With players being run off their favorite spots, the Thunder were able to poke loose a lot of dribbles, and Jrue got into trouble a few times and couldn’t find outlets. That resulted in a high number of fast breaks for the Thunder. Usually the Pelicans don’t give up a lot of turnovers and fast break points. Tonight, they got butchered there.
- Lou Amundson finished an alley-oop from Brian Roberts. That’s not a sentence I thought I’d write this season.
- Aminu has newfound confidence in his shot. Not sure it’s warranted.
- Tyreke Evans turned his ankle when attacking Durant on a drive to the basket. It was his assault against the Thunder reserves that kept the Pelicans in the game in the first half. He’s been diagnosed with an ankle sprain. Michael McNamara just burst into tears.
- Jeff Withey got 9 minutes and did fine, digging out a couple tough offensive rebounds. He’s still not used to the speed and strength of NBA players though.
- The Pelicans got it back within 9 in the fourth quarter as their reserves were beating up the Thunder resevers. Then the Thunder starters came back in. It was over then.
- The Pelicans did keep themselves in it by rebounding their misses. Unfortunately, they usually missed their putbacks.
The Pelicans get a nice hiatus now, not playing again until Wednesday against Detroit. Let’s hope Evans ankle sprain isn’t too bad.