Pelicans handle Grizzlies

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Published: December 13, 2013
Pelicans Win

The Grizzlies showed how badly their perimeter defense has failed tonight as they had little that could keep the Pelicans trio of guards from penetrating.  Prince is looking old,  Tony Allen(injury maybe?) didn’t seem as locked in as I’ve seen him,  and though Conley was game, he couldn’t be everywhere.  Without the massive Gasol in the middle, the Pelicans had to get past just the first line and there was little defense behind it.  Eric Gordon, in particular, looked locked in, and he enjoyed attacking Nick Calathes and Mike Miller in particular.  He hit a few shots he usually doesn’t tonight, and finished with 25 points on 12 shots.  Be still my heart.

The game certainly didn’t start out particularly well as the Grizzlies opened strong on the offensive end.  It wasn’t until their 10th attempt that the Pelicans got a stop as the Grizzlies either hit their looks or got putbacks.  The Pelicans countered by running hard and even though they were taking the ball out of the basket, they finished the quarter with 9 of their 11 fast break points.  That kept them in contact with the Grizzlies until Memphis inevitably started missing some of their long jumpers, and the Pelicans made up the ground and put the Grizzlies down in the third, holding them to 20% shooting and 11 points.  The Grizzlies never really threatened from then on.

Observations:

  • Jason Smith and Anderson did a really nice job on Zach Randolph tonight.  They forced some tough shots – but even better, they battled him hard for position around the basket and never allowed him to seal and catch for an easy shot.  Only one of Randolph’s post-ups finished with him catching the ball a few feet from the basket – and the trio of other times he did manage to get position, Smith usually managed to get his arm in there and deflect the entry pass.  Good job, buys.
  • Jon Leuer kept Memphis in the game as he drilled mid-range shot after shot.  He’s very Jason Smith-like, though he is willing to let fly from deep.
  • Aminu attacked the basket pretty hard in the game and muscled in some tough shots.
  • I was sad when after the Pelicans battled desperately for a rebound and finally won it, they whipped the ball around the perimeter and it ended in Aminu’s hand for a 20 foot jumper.  Sigh.
  • Rivers does stuff out there, but if he doesn’t figure out how to make a layup, none of it is going to matter.
  • Jrue Holiday took some good threes and some bad threes in this game.  I don’t care, actually – I’m just glad he’s taking them, since he’s one of the teams best shooter.  Oh, and he ended with 20 points on 14 shots and 12 assists to go with no turnovers.
  • Anderson had a tough night shooting, and the guards carried the day.  Think back over the last 8-10 years of Pelicans basketball.  On any of those teams, if the best player was out and the second best player was having an off night shooting, did any of them win?  This team has five guys who can score and carry a load.  It’s refreshing.
  • Tyreke Evans rolled the same ankle he had just a few days ago, though he stayed on the court to take his free throws and then half-time came.  That’s what I get for thinking maybe the Curse of the Pelicans that makes players take forever to recover from injury had been broken.  No, it just wanted a chance to injure him more!

Next game is Sunday to take on the Denver Nuggets.  Let’s hope Tyreke’s powers of ankle healing remain strong!

5 comments
DavidLeBoeuf
DavidLeBoeuf

Holiday is playing his ass off after a tough start.  He has (quietly) been f'n fantastic for the last few weeks.  Very encouraging for this team going forward.  Come back AD!!!!

GerryV
GerryV

Was an all Hoop night..Pels game followed by Golden State vs Houston…..Had to  hear some Hubie…Pelicand strung to gather a series of nice plays to ice Memphis…..Grizz defense was cream sauce soft and Pels dipped in to finish them….gritty moments assisted in the hit……Grizz injuries have softened them

Jason Quigley
Jason Quigley

As much as Gordon frustrates me with his stupid play about 98% of the game, I think he was the reason we won this one because he hit some pretty big shots, especially when we needed them most. Holiday also had a great game though, 12 assists and no turnovers is pretty impressive. 

I like how Anderson almost "struggled" but still had 18 points and 7 rebounds. He's the most important player on this team not named Davis and I wish trade rumors about him would end. The team is 5th in points per game in the entire NBA and most certainly would not be there without him. 

And another observation...Aminu! He's played so much better since he was benched the entire game in that game Morrow started. He's more aggressive and playing more to his strengths (barring his stupid rainbow jumper usually once a half), and that's all we really need out of him. 

And that sucks about Evans. I know the feeling, spraining my ankle 3 times in one semester of high school, so hopefully he'll be better. He should be ready to play the next game. I'm wary of sitting him out a game because he was so rusty after preseason and he's finally warmed up; I don't want the rust to come back. On the note of injuries though, any reports on when Davis is coming back? Maybe the games directly after Christmas? (If he's as fast a healer as Tyreke)

504ever
504ever

Based on last few games, especially tonight, by the time Davis returns, this may be Jrue and Eric's team. And that is not a bad thing.  Davis will have to wait a year to make it his team.

Wish we had 2011 2nd round (40th overall by Bucks) pick Jon Leuer on our team.

bucklezzzman
bucklezzzman

@504ever don't be a prisoner of the moment, this IS and WILL be AD's team now and going forward. Our backcourt is just doing exactly what we're paying then around $25M annually to do thankfully! AD is the face and sets the tone on BOTH ends for this team