Pelicans Puncture Pistons’ Tires in Overtime

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Published: December 11, 2013
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This was always going to be a close game. The Pelicans were facing an opponent with two solid bigmen while still without Anthony Davis. Yet that didn’t faze them and for three quarters Monty Williams’ team did exactly what it needed to: keep Detroit off the boards. Going into the 4th quarter the Pelicans held a 38 to 22 rebounding edge.

Even better, the Pistons came in a beastly offensive rebounding team and the Pelicans held them to just 5 for the first three quarters. But Detroit woke up some in the final period and grabbed another 5. Combined with the Pelicans’ woeful offense during that stretch, Detroit won the quarter to 22-13 and it led to the game being tied at 96 and some extra basketball to be played.

In the extra period the Pelicans ground out the win and that’s the main thing that matters. It’s not going to be pretty with the franchise centerpiece out for a few more weeks but it’s important that this young team learns how to pull out wins.

Notes

–There were times when Jason Smith was used perfectly on offense and times when he was not. Though he is a strong jump shooter, Smith needs to be a second or third option outlet pass. Plays when he flares out into space off a pick and roll or when a guard drives are perfect. His defender rotates to clog the lane and it leaves him wide open in space. There needs to be more of this. Too many possessions start and end with a pass to him at the elbow. There is just no need for him to be taking 16 foot jumpers with 18 seconds left on the shot clock. However 22 points and 16 rebounds is no joke.

–Anderson has off nights but he doesn’t have them for 5 quarters. He hit some huge shots during extra basketball. Shooters need to keep shooting. Good to see him do just that.

–How in the world Evans played tonight is beyond me. His ankle wasn’t even wrapped and he didn’t wear a brace. Certainly nice to see a player bounce back from an injury quickly.

Now for his play on the court. There were many possessions where it seemed like he was just allowed to do what he wanted. A lot of him dribbling around before barreling at the rim and either scoring or picking up a foul. Monty doesn’t let everyone do this and it’s clear that he’s earned the coaches trust. Expect to see his minutes increase slightly.

–Austin Rivers got 18 minutes tonight: Good. His play: not so much.

–Spacing on the offensive end is going to be so important to this team. With no real low post big teams can collapse on guys like Smith—and even David with his slight frame—in the paint and contest nearly every look they take. Ryan Anderson making threes spreads the defenders out and gives more room for the bigs to receive passes.

Aminu developing a jump shot to keep defenses honest is vital for the Pelicans’ success. Austin Rivers even made a corner three tonight and if he can develop that shot, and help space the offense, he’ll earn consistent minutes.

–.500 basketball!

I’ll leave you with that for the night. Enjoy the win and give us your thoughts in the comments!

28 comments
mstevens41765
mstevens41765

Love this team. The team fighting for wins while davis is out is exactly what monty wants now/ all the time.  Rivers should get more time, his defensive effort has earned him some i think

Also, what is the word on the Zbo for Ryno trade. Please tell me its not true...

mstevens41765
mstevens41765

Love this team. fighting for wins if what monty wants while davis is out/ all the time.  rivers needs more playing time i think. his defensive effort has earned him some.

Whats the word on this Z BO for Ryno trade i just read about. Please tell me its not true

ericsnow
ericsnow

River offense will improve with time I'll rather have him out there than Roberts yes Roberts would had scored more but his Defense is horrible

Come On Pelican
Come On Pelican

Jake is correct in his assessment of Austin Rivers' performance against the Pistons. Which begs the question: Does it make Monty Williams a better or worse coach when he capitulates to the demands of his detractors by giving Rivers extensive playing time against Detroit, only to see him flail around like a lost lamb offensively during much of his team’s 4th quarter collapse?

kfte
kfte

I doubt the Pelican would trade Ryan for Randolph. Ryan defense is weak, but  his offensive skills offsets his shortcomings. He is basically a small forward he just happens to be 6 ft. 10. I like his game better then Peja's. He had a poor shooting game for 4 quarters, but he came through offensively in the 5th quarter; real poor on the boards last night.

Come On Pelican
Come On Pelican

Ryan Anderson came through in the clutch (as he often does), and you've got to love him for that.  But there was a point towards the end of the game where he thought he was fouled under the basket and then stood there pouting while Detroit scored on a fast break.  Do you blame that on coaching, or what?

Caffeinedisaster
Caffeinedisaster

Mark +1 in the WIN column!

Great to see Tyreke.  I guess the near week-long drought in play helped him heal.

I was terrified to see him hurt at the Thunder game last week.  Toughness like that spreads throughout the locker room.

Sweet Lou!  Throwing it down again in consecutive games.  (What good is having a ponytail if you can't fly and have it blowing in the wind?)


Greg Monroe is perhaps the slowest running player in the NBA.  I saw a couple cherry-picking dunks he picked up.  (With him sand-bagging at the Pistons' rim, you think we'd have gotten easy pts on the possession.)

Great play by Jrue.  He's owning his team.

Rhyno FTW! (as always, All-Star)

bradlaborde
bradlaborde

Conflicted.  The team appears to be playing better, but they still struggle to beat bad teams.  It was delightful to watch the team go up by 10, 12, 9, and 9 in each quater and then painful to see them finish poorly.  Glad the team won.  Had they not, Monty would have lost even more allies.   

Observations:

-Thanks for earning your game check Tyreke. 

-Like Monty with his lineups, they seem to be tinkering with the music in the arena which is a good thing.  It might be time to retire the Shrek bit and Mad as Hell speech.

-Greg Monroe looked heavier than years past.  In a bad way. 

-AD's suit.  It was so awesome I wanted to bring him my ticket and ask him to seat me.  He must have lost a bet or something.

-Those platmium/light up shoes are cute there, Austin.  Good effort though.  I've decided that Austin Rivers' Saints equivalent is Corey White.  They both do some good things out there, but have a few bad plays that get stuck in your head.  

-I've heard all the excuses.  Any proud New Orleanian should be embarrassed by attendance.

iDEJAreal
iDEJAreal

I DO like what I see from Austin on defense. I do also want him to get more confident on offense. I want that "Duke" Austin Rivers. The Rivers that was just cold-blooded and ruthless. The one that wanted to make an impact and take the big shot. I miss that Rivers. That is and was the Rivers I was expecting us to get. It is still his second year and he is still young so I cannot expect an awful lot from and out of him yet. Patience...

TalkingBasketball
TalkingBasketball

How do you not mention the AmundBEAST's play tonight? It doesn't show on the stat sheet but he outhustled and out-"toughed" Detroit's vaunted frontcourt tonight. I liked his play tonight.

nolahog
nolahog

Just when I thought we'd start hearing from the "Trade Anderson for Greg Monroe" camp, Anderson steps and does what he does SO well.  The guy can really shoot, and I also found out tonight that he's the top free throw shooter in the league.  Greg Monroe. . . not so much.  (But seriously, Greg Monroe was a beast tonight).

Jason Smith with the massive block in the final minute of regulation, followed by the strong closeout on Jennings' corner jumper to force overtime.  The guy is definitely not the most athletic guy around, and I've never seen a 7 footer that gets blocked more when going up for dunks, but he plays with a lot of energy and has tough defense near the rim.  Huge game for him tonight.

Finally, Tyreke Evans is the anti-Gordon!  Seriously, Gordon would be out for over a month if he would have turned his ankle like that!  I tip my hat to you, Monsieur Evans.

Big win for the Pelicans.  You don't want to be the one West team that actually loses to an Eastern Conference team this week.  Protect this House!! 







Clef504
Clef504

Even though Rivers play wasn't stellar, I prefer him on the floor.

1. He moves the ball

2. He can get to the rim

3. I feel like he knows he's not the best player on the floor.

If Monty gives him consistent minutes, he will progress. I mean, look at Aminu, I'm happy with his play

504ever
504ever

A nice win for the Pelicans to draw back to 0.500 tonight. Yeah!


I hope the Austin Rivers -16 tonight (worst on either team) on1-7 shooting (including a continuing inability to finish at the rim) and 1-2 at the line stops the 'we want Rivers' crowd.  There are reasons Rivers doesn't play much, and they were on display tonight.

bradlaborde
bradlaborde

@DavidLBrown Money doesn't line up. ZBo is in the $17-$18M range.  Anderson is around $8M.  None of it makes sense.  Anderson keeps popping up in trade rumors so he is either being shopped or the media doesn't want us to have nice things.  He is probably being shopped.

I know many are anti-Monty, but take a minute to reflect on 'Dealing Dell".  Lucking into the #1 pick and selecting Anthony Davis doesn't count.  IMO, the moves made indicate that the coaching staff and front office are closer to 2 ships passing in the night than having a plan that both agree on.

Pure speculation.  I'm just a stupid fan and tired of seeing our best FA acquisition on ESPN trade machine with the caption "Who says no?",  The answer is NO NO NO!!! 

Ludiculous48
Ludiculous48

@iDEJAreal yeah i really feel like some of the biggest problems Rivers has are mental, when he can get going and get in a groove he builds his confidence and his play goes through the roof. I think eventually he will figure it all out.

NOH Domination
NOH Domination

@nolahog Why would Detroit want Anderson? Their problem is that they have 3 big men and only 2 spots on the court. We know Anderson doesn't play the 3 so that trade wouldn't solve the problem. Eric Gordon for Monroe would be a more sensical trade for them

NOH Domination
NOH Domination

@Clef504 I didn't see anything wrong with the way Rivers played tonight. The stats look awful, but he did some good things. Amundson is the guy that really bothers me. What does he bring to the table?

macs21
macs21

@504ever There are also many more reasons to play him over Roberts. For example, he moves the ball and can actually defend. As exhibited by his three steals and lack of standing around at the top of the arc dribbling away 9 seconds of the clock.

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

I'm no fan of Amundson, but tonight he played his best game this year.  He got several key rebounds, drew fouls, and made an impressive dunk.  He did get smoked on defense once or twice and had a -7, but I was happy to when I had to admit he sucked less in this game.


Withey did nothing positive or negative in his minutes backing up Smith, and I am more than okay with that from him right now.  His box score was completely blank!!


Rivers looked good on D except for fouling their good shooters while the other team is in the bonus.  His offense was weak, and his -16 accurately tracked what happened to the team's offense when he was in the game.   Jrue makes such a difference versus Rivers and Roberts on both ends of the floor....

504ever
504ever

@macs21 @504ever

Those aren't the reasons Rivers was drafted 10th overall.  I'll give you he plays better defense and passes more than Roberts, but those are things you can get from a FA or in the 2nd round.  And I am not comparing Rivers to Roberts.  Rivers should be much better than the opposite side of the coin ( a penny) from Roberts.  Rivers should be some folding money that is hard to come by in this league. He is not.  He is the yin (defense and passing) to Robert's yang (spot up shooting) at the FA level.  That is a problem.

Another problem is Rivers' 1-7 shooting tonight, which is equivalent to 2-3 turnovers and totally neutralizes Rivers' steals tonight.  That is how a guy who plays good defense and passes (without getting an assist) ends up at -16. Yeah -16.  That is a big problem when no one else on your team is close to -16 and it means Rivers overall was hurting the team big time when he was on the floor tonight.


NOH Domination
NOH Domination

@xman20002000 @NOH Domination @Clef504 I would prefer Withey. I don't have access to seeing these guys on a daily basis so I trust Monty, but having seen Withey play a lot in college I have no doubt he can protect the rim and bring some energy while not hurting the team. You can say Amundson brings energy, but I just don't see it. I understand the options aren't great, but play within yourself. One play Amundson got a rebound and proceeded to chuck it straight out of bounds.

504ever
504ever

@macs21 @504ever

Look at my first post: Rivers still can't finish at the rim or make free throws.  Those are huge and continuing problems.

And the reason I write with facts is so I don't say things that can't be substantiated like: Rivers was fouled but the refs didn't call it, let's call those free throws assisted baskets, or his -16 was the fault of others (who somehow didn't end up with a +/- near -16).

But the big picture question is what NBA skills does Rivers have and are they enough better than his weaknesses to demand playing time.  Monty, who has known Rivers since he was a young child and seems to have a soft spot for him, says effectively 'none' when he benches Rivers, and so do others including me.

When Rivers is good enough to play, it will be obvious for all to see.

macs21
macs21

@504ever @macs21 That's all well and good and it's great that you can read a box score.
However, at least half of that -16 you're referring to was the result of two runs that the Pistons went on due to other people on the court turning the ball over and them getting fast break points. Also worth noting, Rivers gave up two of his fouls chasing those plays back and fouling guys who otherwise would have had open layups.

At least two of his passes led directly to shooting fouls, one to Ryno and one to Amundsen, and that's just what I can remember off the top of my head. All 4 FT's were made.

The refs were practically letting everything go as well so 2-3 of his shots at the rim could well have been called fouls in a different game. He always draws heaps of contact. On the season, he averages 0.5 FT's per FG attempt.

Name me a free agent point guard sitting there right now who would be able to defend like Rivers on the ball?

Prior to this game, Rivers had a +/- of +5.