Pelicans Outclassed by a Superior Warriors Team

Published: December 18, 2013

Look, on some nights the opposing team is just better. On this site we break down stats and trends. We look deep inside the numbers and draw upon the past to predict the future. We discuss rotation patterns and shot locations. And don’t get me wrong, I love that we do that, and sometimes it gives fans a broader perspective. Tonight, though, the reason for this loss was simple: They were simply a better team. Their collection of players that were active and available were vastly superior. The Pelicans lost 104-93. No real analysis needed.

Without Anthony Davis, the team lacked an interior presence on defense. They also didn’t have a plus rebounder outside of Aminu. The end result; Warriors win the rebounding battle 58-44. Without Tyreke Evans, the Pelicans didn’t have a guy who can get to the basket and finish. End result: Points in the paint 50-34 Warriors. It’s not rocket science. On a day when both teams have all their horses, this would have been a tightly contested game. Instead, the Warriors had theirs while the Pelicans were missing two studs. So, the result was a Warriors lead that climbed as high as 25 points. So it goes.

The bench was terrible, but with Ryno forced to start and Tyreke Evans out, the bench was comprised of six guys who probably wouldn’t get a minute on a legit contender. The starting lineup wasn’t exactly anything to write home about either, though. The Warriors (smartly) sagged down on all pick and rolls or doubled them, forcing Jason Smith to try to beat them. When the Pelicans got tired of Jason Smith jumpers, they dumped the ball down to Al-Farouq Aminu in the post. Does any of this sound like a recipe for success?

It wasn’t, so the team lost. They lost to a more talented team who was playing at home. No advanced stats or shot charts here, just good old-fashioned reason and logic. You don’t bring a knife to a gun fight. The Pelicans did. And the results were predictable.


  1. EddieBarrios

    December 18, 2013 at 12:23 am

    ”You don’t bring a knife to a gun fight”
    Unless you’re chuck norris, at which point your fists would be enough!

  2. ByronMarcusWashington

    December 18, 2013 at 12:41 am

    I was only able to see the second half, but I was happy. When it got out of hand I said I want to see some effort that’s it. And guess what those bench guys played their butts off. Almundson so mad that they were getting blown out he was redder than usual. I loved his hard play and tough fouls, (offensive or defensive) I applaud that. And I wish u had mentioned this in the recap. Austin rivers playing great ball, getting to the rack getting fouled. I even heard one of our players say “give me that shit!” I like that fire, who cares if its in a blow out. Now I would be pissed If they just gave up. And I got to see withey play. He battled for some rebounds and played some good D. Got a putback while speights was holding/fouling him (no call). I really think the warriors are a cocky bunch and it rubbed some of our players the wrong way. Just getting the revved up to stun the clippers!

  3. Jason Quigley

    December 18, 2013 at 1:05 am

    You put it pretty perfectly in that recap. They had all their players and we didn’t, and they have some fine players, especially shooters, and there’s not much you can do when they start getting hot and firing away.
    Forgetting about Davis for a second, the lack of Evans (or in general a second good player next to Davis’s injury) really hurt because our bench was awful, save for that small comeback attempt at the end. 
    And I wish WIthey would start second quarters instead of Amundson, as much Amundson does give us some rebounding and energy, we know he’s not too good and isn’t getting any better.

  4. JabberWalker

    December 18, 2013 at 1:12 am

    ByronMarcusWashington Exactly what I was going to say.  Earlier this season it often looked like our players didn’t care and it seems that somehow they’ve found a reason to play hard even in blowouts.  Otherwise, I agree that there isn’t much to take away from this game.  I just wish that we could see Rivers get some time out there.

  5. Pluto D

    December 18, 2013 at 2:27 am

    I realize GS was back to full strength and were on fire all night. There’s not much you can do about Steph Curry drilling step-back 3s and others hitting some silly shots. But there are still some frustrating trends coming from the Pelicans.
    I like Jason Smith, but why is he taking so many long 2s with 15 seconds left on the shot clock? He got more shots than Gordon or Holiday, and all of them were long 2s. He’s the 4th option, we don’t need a pick and pop every other possession. 
    More frustrating: WHY ON EARTH is Brian Roberts still playing point guard? I am so sick of it. All he does is dribble left and right and isn’t hitting his shots. Austin Rivers still isn’t great at finishing at the rim, but he is CLEARLY better at penetrating, a better passer, defender, ball handler, and he’s quicker. Also he hustles his a$$ off. There’s no reason why Roberts should be the primary ball handler on the 2nd unit. Even when Tyreke is out there, Roberts is still running the offense. OMFG i could kick a baby.
    Glad Rivers got extended minutes tonight though. He wasn’t fantastic but he’s looked more confident out there lately and is playing like a regular rotation player. Keep it up.
    And lastly, when we are down 20 at the end of the 3rd quarter, why is Amundson still in the game over Withey? How is that helping our team? He’s the veteran player and he hustles and Monty is trying to win games, I get all that. He’s also a foul machine and can’t hit free throws. When he fouled out in blazing fashion tonight, poor Monty had no choice but to throw Withey out there. A real shame since Amundson is soooo much better at….something….

  6. wilthomas178

    December 18, 2013 at 2:47 am

    Eric Gordon is our SHOOTING guard…Our 14 MILLION dollar shooting guard..
    i love Jason smith, but he should not have more attempts than is imperative that Gordon get himself and the offense going..when he’s right, our offense flows so much better..
    but why is he so damn PASSIVE??
    Our 4th option should not have more shot attempts than our 2nd option..regardless how “automatic” smith is from the elbow…ALL 2 POINTS ARE NOT THE SAME…. 

    and that 15 footer will always be there in a pinch..but why  do we depend on it AND LOOK FOR IT so soon in the offense..
    its like tapping into your pension from work at age 30 when you don’t have too..We need to get our offense running more through Gordon with some penetration and 3’s..

  7. Jason Quigley

    December 18, 2013 at 3:10 am

    And Withey had some great hustle plays after Amundson fouled out. Wow…go figure. 
    I agree about Roberts. I could see how last year he was the backup with our limited guard …arsenal, let’s call it, but now, especially with the way he’s been playing, it’s time for him to warm the bench if we have all our guards healthy.

  8. Jason Quigley

    December 18, 2013 at 3:34 am

    We give Gordon the ball a lot. But I think the other players are starting to shy away from doing that because whenever he gets the ball, he either shoots that unreliable mid-range shot that you were talking about, or (95% of the time) drives to the basket, not looking for teammates at all, and tries to lay it up, either getting fouled or just missing completely. I don’t think he’s passive. I think he’s aggressive but plays stupid basketball. 
    And I left fastbreaks out of that because the only difference is that he might pass to a teammate…really early, and they make a bad play because of how early or bad his pass was.

  9. ByronMarcusWashington

    December 18, 2013 at 7:41 am

    Yeah anytime you don’t have the general of the first unit and the general of the second unit because of injuries ur gonna struggle. Especially when they have all their players. It would be a surprise to win. I just take away all these guys playing hard and making the refs acknowledge that they weren’t getting any calls. Rivers goes to the goal, draymond green goes through his body to contest shot, rivers falls of course and looks disappointed not getting a call, monty lights into the random ref. (Rivers may not have made free throws anyway lol)

  10. Pluto D

    December 18, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Jason Quigley 
    1-for-9 is bad, but Gordon also has nights like he did against Memphis (25 points on 12 shots). I think he has been quite polarizing, where some games he is aggressive and very smooth, and others where he is very passive. Even if he’s not hitting his shots, I would always prefer Gordon attacking the rim over a Jason Smith jump shot. That shot will be there all game long at any time, yet we are relying on it like it’s our go-to play. I think Gordon should have gotten a few more foul calls, it just wasn’t his night.

  11. Caffeinedisaster

    December 18, 2013 at 8:31 am

    EddieBarrios  Per Hoops Hype:  

    Chuck Norris has signed with the New Orleans Pelicans to play small forward.

  12. Caffeinedisaster

    December 18, 2013 at 8:35 am

    I couldn’t watch the game and after I saw the score in the 3rd quarter, I DIDN’T WANT TO.

    I’m just relieved that they actually pulled it as close as they did at the end.

  13. bradlaborde

    December 18, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Tough day in the gym when you start getting CLOWNED mid 3rd quarter. Last night is why the Washington Generals have no fans. I’m kinda mad right now, so here it goes:
    The Hornets/Pels are 3 years and 23 games into the Dell/Monty experience. Is Dell a good GM? Is Monty a good coach? Are they a good match? I still really don’t know. This year, the pels still don’t have a signature win or a win vs a team over .500. I read about the reasons/excuses on BSS and they all make sense. So that’s nice.
    Shinn leveled the franchise and over that 3 year, 23 game span: Chris Paul left, the disgusting Alario Center went away, the name Hornets left the Hive, and I long for a return to the “I’m In” campaign. Dell and Monty are the hold overs. Two young guys hired at a time when the Hornets had limited options. Any coaching candidate or GM with options would have avoided the franchise. I feel like Pels fans deserve better. If not now, when?
    If my expectations are too high, sorry. I didn’t excelerate the rebuild with high salary additions. A candidate who turned the Hornets job down (T. Thibodeau) won’t be coaching the Bulls next year. He lost his superstar for 2 seasons. Is that fair? No, but they appear to be moving on. Why should Benson give Dell and Monty more time? It’s highly unlikely that Dell negotiates AD’s next contract. It’s even more unlikely that Monty is coaching AD on contract #2. So what are we doing here?

  14. LarryLegaux

    December 18, 2013 at 9:33 am

    Why does Jason smith feel its okay to take all those jumpers? if our center is always taking a Jumper who is getting the rebounds.

  15. bobmurrell

    December 18, 2013 at 9:48 am

    I HATE that graphic. BOOOO

  16. bradlaborde

    December 18, 2013 at 9:53 am

    We are told that those shots are a ‘decision’ and not ‘strategy’.  That Monty isn’t telling Smith to shoot those. Well, he certainly isn’t telling him not to shoot them either.  There is a reason that shot is open.  It’s not a good one.
    Opponents best players are able to get their shots off, but Pels fans are expected to just accept 10-12 of these from Smith per game.  Those 10-12 jump shots should be 3’s by Ryno, Jrue, and Gordon (catch and shoot only please) in that order.

  17. 504ever

    December 18, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Just out of curiosity, what moves by Dell do you like and which ones do you not like?
    And why are you evaluating Monty right now, so early in this player acquisition phase and when he has had all of his players available for only a handful of games?

  18. dbeard06

    December 18, 2013 at 11:08 am

    bradlaborde LarryLegaux Everyone talks about mid-range jumpers like it the shot that will end the world.  The shot itself is not the issue.  David West was lethal from mid-range and he was our leading scorer  with CP3 here.  The issue is J Smitty is not consistent from mid-range.  J Smitty really needs to work on his inside game, he has to be more versitile on offense instead of just a pick and pop guy.

  19. nolahog

    December 18, 2013 at 11:31 am

    The bench squad actually pulled us to within 12 with four minutes left, so I can’t complain too much about their production.  To be losing by 20+ pts for most of the second half, I think the bench did their job, beating GS’s bench and getting us somewhere close to within striking distance to finish the game.  Unfortunately, when both teams’ starter’s returned, the Pelicans were quickly snuffed out.  Oh well, let’s hope the guys can get up for this Clippers game.
    Also, I was watching the GS broadcast, and their announcers pointed out that while the Pelicans are near the top of the league in fast break points, they’re near the bottom in fast break efficiency.  Not surprised to hear this at all.  Even though we have strong finishers (Gordon, Evans), they never pass on the fast break, and it’s really an ugly thing to behold.  Monty, can we run a few fast break drills in practice?  Anyone ever heard of a bounce pass?

  20. GerryV

    December 18, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Last week the Pels were ranked Top 10 in fast break Eff…..they have their info confused.

  21. GerryV

    December 18, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Doesn’t that depend on how they are defending Gordon? If one of your bigs is taking jumpers that eliminates one of your rebounders from the mix and with GS sagging off that gave them and extra ‘bounder near the glass…..its either you make the shots for a good % or you send a guard to the glass…then you decide how you will ‘cover back ‘ vs the break’ on your missed shots….you would like to see a lil more reboundng from the guards….

  22. Major504

    December 18, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Is there anymore info bout the signing of that 7’2″ center from France? We need a presense in the middle asap.

  23. GerryV

    December 18, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Need to buy out his deal

  24. bradlaborde

    December 18, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    504ever bradlaborde
    Since you asked, Dell moves. Like: Juju for Belinelli; Dislike: a 1st (Tobias Harris) for Bayless which became JJack; Like: Thorton for Landry; CP trade doesn’t count; I go either way with Oak/Ariza for Lewis, but am fine with how it turned out; Loved the Ayon find which became Ryno; Drafting AD doesn’t count; Undecided about matching the Gordon/Suns deal (but is sure can get ugly soon); Jury is still out on Jrue but I like it so far; The Tyreke Evans deal is just an odd fit.
    I like Evans and all, but Dell gave up a good contract (Lopez) for a $44M piece that is a questionable fit. Dell probably should have stopped after trading for Jrue. The pels record is probably the same with Lopez or Evans.

  25. bradlaborde

    December 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    504ever bradlaborde I’m evaluating both over their 3 year 23 game tenure. Again, I’m not suggesting firing either, just asking if we deserve better based on the state of the franchise when those hires were made and then compared it to the Bulls coaching situation.
    I felt bad for Joel Meyers and Wes last night because everytime they mentioned: ok, if we can get it down to 10 in this stretch… GS would hit a 3 after nabbing 2 offensive rebounds. Once that talking point got crushed, they’d turn to: well, the team plays hard. What’s this teams identity? Are they good at offense (which Dell geared this team towards)? Are they good at defense (Which is all the Monty preaches about and are horrible at)? If all you’ve got is “hey, they play hard” while down 26 after 3.3 years, what are we doing?

  26. 504ever

    December 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    bradlaborde 504ever 
    I think you mean “all you got is hey, they play hard” in one game in which they were missing 2 of their best 5 players, not throughout their last 3.3 years.

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