Pelicans Puncture Pistons’ Tires in Overtime »
Game On: Detroit Pistons @ New Orleans Pelicans
It’d be easy to write off the next two weeks for the New Orleans Pelicans as just…I don’t know…whatever, really. Tyreke Evans is out; Anthony Davis is out; the schedule gets rougher with tough road games; the NFL playoffs are around the corner; we’re not going to see the real team; it’s the holidays; more Brian Roberts and Austin Rivers?
But all that is not entirely the case.
Yes, this is sets back the chemistry between the core of the team, hurts Davis’ All-Star chances, and delays the total evaluation of the roster. But this is also where the Pelicans get tested. A stretch like this shows you who might have a future on the team–and in some cases the league. Which role players step up and show they can be a key contributor going forward. Can Aminu, with Monty’s recent comments about wanting to give him the ball more, show, consistently, that he can do more than just rebound? Or does Darius Miller get a longer look? With minutes freed up at the guard position does Austin Rivers grab hold of them and prove that he should play ahead of Brian Roberts?
And then there is Monty Williams. Want to know if he is the long term coach for this team? Look no further than this stretch. Does he adjust the rotations given the limitations? How does the offense change with the absence of Davis down low? Does the team try and run more? More looks from 3-point range to space the court and open up things inside for the other bigs? Defensively, what the hell does Monty do?
For a couple weeks of what just should be blah blah blah those are a lot of important questions. Hopefully the team starts answering them tonight.
As for the Pistons tonight: Don’t get burned from deep. The Pistons are not a good three point shooting team, and I will probably lose my mind if they start hitting from long range. So just keep the rotations sharp, contest shots and everything should be good. Unless it’s Josh “27% from 3-point” Smith. Leave that dude open behind the line.