Pelicans’ late run comes up short in overall flat effort vs. Wizards

Published: January 8, 2014

For about 3 1/2 quarters, the game tonight was borderline unwatchable. For the remaining six minutes, things got a little interesting, but the Pelicans never really had a chance to steal the game back from the Wizards. The Pelicans were done in by poor defensive rotations resulting in multiple wide open three pointers for players such as Bradley Beal and Contract Year Trevor Ariza. Though Washington only totaled 13 second chance points, the majority of them seemed to come in one key stretch in the second quarter that put New Orleans behind by an amount from which they would never recover. Offensively, it was the same old Ryan Anderson-less story: too many missed shots at the rim and too few 3-point attempts. Overall, this game was a very frustrating one that won’t be easily forgotten by some fans. Some other game notes:

  • Jan Vesely scored 12 points on 6-7 shooting and totaled 7 rebounds. His season averages are 3.2 points and 3.8 rebounds. He is also shooting under 30% from the free throw line. But hey, let’s allow him to get uncontested tip-ins and alley-oops, right Greg Stiemsma?
  • I haven’t reviewed the game film yet, but the amount of layups that Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans missed tonight was brutal. Some were certainly contested, but either find a way to draw the foul or kick it out to an open teammate if the Wizards are so blatantly collapsing on drives. Speaking of…
  • Anyone else notice how many times you could count all five Wizards defenders right around the paint? Man, it would really help to open up the lane if the Pelicans would shoot and knock down some threes… unfortunately, they only attempted 8 three pointers in the game’s first 44 minutes. Anderson attempts that many threes by himself sometimes. Hell, the Wizards MADE more than that in the same stretch. If this Pelicans team doesn’t space the floor better, they’ll continue to see defenses pack the paint and bait them into bad mid-range jumpers.
  • The Pelicans missed just one more shot than the Warriors, yet collected 9 fewer rebounds. Not exactly a recipe for success.
  • In the final minute of this game, Anthony Davis drained an open corner 3. If he can find and hit that shot with any sort of consistency – especially this early in his career – watch out.

The Pelicans welcome the Mavericks to town on Friday night for the first of two consecutive games against Dallas. Hopefully they can start to turn things around then.


  1. jdtufts10

    January 8, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    I was at this game tonight, and it seemed pretty evident that the team came out with not much energy. They started out passing well, and had a lot of great ball movement to get the offense going, but once the second quarter rolled around, we got really flat on both sides of the ball, and play with very little energy, taking ALOT of mid range jump shots. But I loved how the pels almost had a huge come back despised 60% of the attendance leaving in the start of the 4th. 
    On a different note, EG looked good, really pulling for him to heat up in the second half of the season to get the TRADE VALUE up!!

  2. Jason Quigley

    January 8, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    Hey guys here’s a great idea let’s trade Anderson for Asik!!!!!!!!
    No. I was saying it at the beginning of the season and I’ll say it again now.  Anyone who’s ever suggested any trade where we’re giving away Anderson in any package for anything less than Durant or Lebron, just stop. He’s more important to this team than any other player on our team, even Davis. 
    It just makes me sad that this team had so much potential to be so exciting but factors such as coaching and key injuries have completely negated all of the potential.

  3. Nicks65

    January 8, 2014 at 10:37 pm

    Jason QuigleyWhat about Paul George? What about Kevin Love?

  4. Pluto D

    January 8, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    No matter how much time Austin Rivers gets on the bench, he ALWAYS comes out with energy and good defense. On a night like tonight, we really needed that energy–ahem, sooner than the 4th quarter, which was expected to be garbage time by that point. 
    I can’t describe how badly I want to pull my hair out trying to figure out why Monty loves Brian Roberts SO DAMN MUCH. I don’t care what he did in the 4th quarter tonight. There is nothing Roberts does better than Rivers. Unless you call “dribbling followed by more dribbling” a skill. Sure, he’s probably better from mid-range, but do we really need more of that? We have to see what Rivers can be at some point. We aren’t competing for a championship this year. Why isn’t he playing? 
    I can’t watch Tyreke take a back seat to Roberts as the the primary ballhandler any more. It makes me sick to my stomach. And Greg Stiemsma…..don’t even get me started.

  5. mojart

    January 8, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    monty realizes its time to tank…..FU monty!same story happens…we are always close before the end of the 1st quarter or sometimes we have the lead and then the steisma-roberts combo check in and boom….opponents blows us out….we always start the 2nd half flat…monty making adjustments or what at the half….im losing patience with monty rapidly

  6. HawnitsFanatic

    January 8, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Pluto D I approve of everything in this message.

  7. HawnitsFanatic

    January 8, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    The boards are dead, the comment sections are dead, and the level of apathy in the arena is soon to follow.
    Benson and company better consider taking a page from HHH and doing what’s “best for business”. Monty Williams will single handedly kill all the excitement and momentum created during the off-season if he is coaching post AS break.
    We still have 4 very legitimate players on our team and arguably the most exciting young player in the league. Yet somehow, inexplicably, interest in the team is starting to dive off a cliff. Give us a reason to watch instead of subjecting your loyalists and casuals alike to boring, poorly coached, hopeless basketball.

  8. PelicanYouDigIt

    January 9, 2014 at 12:17 am

    This team has no energy and no confidence. That begins and ends with the coach. Monty’s actions in recent weeks and the post-game comments from tonight tell me that he’s scared for his job. He’s so insistent that his system will work as long as the players “stay true to the gameplan,” but to many of us, the problem seems to begin with him, not the players. He doesn’t put players in position to succeed, and I think it’s time for a change.
    I was one of the biggest Monty supporters for a very long time, but the team should be better than they are right now. There are teams with far less talent around the league with just as many if not more wins than the Pelicans, and to me that points to a coaching problem. As does the fact that Monty’s team consistently get outplayed immediately after halftime. This team is predictable, inefficient and painfully slower paced than they need to be.
    If the team continues to play even remotely close to what we saw tonight and a change isn’t made before the all-star break, I will be highly disappointed.

  9. wilthomas178

    January 9, 2014 at 12:25 am

    no heart+no grown-ups=inconsistent play

  10. nolahog

    January 9, 2014 at 12:26 am

    Rivers needs to be playing more.  With Anderson out, we can still be successful, but we’re going to have to run teams out of the gym.  With Gordon, Holliday, Evans, and Davis, we’ve got a lot of guys that can get to hole, but currently everyone packs the paint against us.  What do we do?  Don’t let them get back in time to pack the paint.  The only way we’re going to be able to do that is to rely on our defense to get us turnovers and rebounds.  Rivers had some very tenacious on ball defense tonight.  Hopefully, he showed Monty some value tonight.
    That being said, he missed a WIDE OPEN Jason Smith down the middle of the lane on a fast break.
    Also, Davis drilling the three pointer and then throwing down the vicious alley oop during the final minutes was awesome.
    Finally. . . Damn, Trevor.  I miss you a lot.  Hornets forever.

  11. jdtufts10

    January 9, 2014 at 12:46 am

    Dear Monty, 
    The way you get the crowd behind you and not have some dude screaming at you on what you should do, is have this team play with a little energy and a little fluency in the offense….and not be down 22 with 7 minutes left in the third quarter to a sub .500 team on your home court. 
    However, we can’t put all this on Monty, because the team is still in “shock” from the loss of their best scoring option in Anderson. The problem I have is that if playoffs are pretty much out of the picture, I would atleast like to see this team make progress as a team and begin to gel together, however, it seems like we are regressing. Im not seeing improvement, but instead regression, that is where I believe it falls on coaching and not a lack of talent or maturity. I’m pulling for you Monty, but your making it tough

  12. NOEngineer

    January 9, 2014 at 4:08 am

    Pluto DTonight, Roberts got himself open for 3-point shots and made them.   He did that much better than Rivers, and maybe better than anyone on our team tonight.   Since that is the most important thing we lack on offense right now, he earned some playing time.   He also had at least one steal that looked great.   I like Rivers’ energy and determination on D, but his offense leaves a lot to be desired right now.  I’d still play him, but we need Roberts’ shooting.

    I can’t stand to see floor-bound Stiemsma playing.    It is an insult to my season tickets.  He doesn’t jump and he doesn’t box out.   I would much rather have the guy from the D-league who started the season, and whose name I’m too lazy to look up.    He at least seemed to know how to box out.    I think Smith and Steimsma are slowly training Withey how to play center while watching to ball bounce to others, so maybe he will suck too by the time he actually gets some playing time.   Hopefully Ajinca will stay strong and follow the lead of Aminu and Davis instead of the others.     He needs to play double the minutes of Stiemsma, and more minutes than Smith.

    I noticed last night that we were packing the paint again on offense while we were losing points, while they were spreading us out on defense.   Our baseline and front of the rim looked like a Taco Bell drive through when Ajinca and Davis were off the court.   Holiday was passive, Evans was weak, and Smith was a turnstile.    Morrow looked completely lost again, making Roberts look necessary.   Gordon looked better until he disappeared.     Only Davis brought consistent energy and skill.

  13. LaNative

    January 9, 2014 at 7:49 am

    I agree that players play and coaches coach but isn’t the job of the coach to motivate players as well as to prepare them for games?  Isn’t it his job to make substitutions before letting the game get out of hand? How can you (as the coach) just sit there and watch the team dig a deeper hole for themselves to crawl out of knowing that you don’t have the consistent firepower or play makers to get out of such predicaments? All of this falls on the shoulders of the coach.  There are too many glaring deficiencies on this team not to blame coaching.  This team has zero confidence and in their interviews they are weary and worn out.  Unfortunately the change has to start with someone and I most definitely think it’s Monty.  The Saints program turned around with the coach, then the player (Drew) and making good draft selections and/or trades by having an eye for talent.  I know AD is a superstar and he deserves to be coached, motivated and to play with players who can compliment his talent to get to the next level.  Frankly, I don’t see that happening with Monty at the helm.  For years I have defended him and I think rightfully so, but this is the best set of players we’ve had during his tenure except for when he first arrived, and we should win against sub 500 teams without question.  No reasoning is going to make me believe otherwise.  I get bothered now and don’t even watch Monty’s interviews because there is nothing new –  it’s stale, rehearsed and regurgitated.
    People should get angry and upset when you know that this team is capable of so much more.  Yeah they have to make shots and play within the system but it’s the coach’s job to make those necessary in game adjustments and to give players (Austin Rivers) a chance.  It’s time for him to stop seeing these young players as children and to see them as employees who are getting huge paychecks because of their talent.  It’s his job to orchestrate and put the right players together to create harmony.  They may not be championship caliber but they definitely shouldn’t be bottom feeders either.  Do your job Monty and win the games you’re supposed to and hell even shock us with a win that we aren’t supposed to get from time-to-time.

  14. marios123

    January 9, 2014 at 8:02 am

    Anderson goes down and people are still talking about trading EG – our last remaining legitimate 3point threat (except freaking Brian Roberts). I really dont understand how you guys think.. IF EG leaves as well we are gonna have what? 2 3point attempts per game??

  15. DavidLeBoeuf

    January 9, 2014 at 8:46 am

    It’s hard to make more 3’s, when we don’t take any damn 3’s.  Shoot.  The.  Damn.  Ball.

  16. bradlaborde

    January 9, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Yeahhhhh man. One made 3 until the mid to late 4th. One. To make matters worse Washington had more points in the paint than the Pelicans (40 to 32 when I bothered to look). Soooo, what would you sayyyyy the game plan was?!?!?
    Last night turned me to the darkside. Last season, a cocky Monty Williams threw Vasquez and his team under the bus by saying he has a binder full of offensive plays that his team cannot run. This offseason Dell provided Monty with an all star point guard and a former rookie of the year that can play 3 positions to help run said plays. Where is this magical (yet complicated!) binder? Could Monty just take it out and show it to the media so fans know it exists?!?!? Defensively, the team hasn’t been the same without Malone. Time to try something else. Monty could do a fine job coaching a playoff caliber team (I know because after the game I went to watch old Hornets/Lakers playoff highlights. Somehow losing 4-2 in a playoff series was comforting to me), but having a guy with a system who is unwilling to change sets and tweak rotations to fit his players is not what this young team needs.
    The poor older man next to me was at his first Pelicans game by himself. At halftime he asked me if it is usually like this. He even left before the part in the 4th when the team tried (lineup: Roberts, Rivers, Gordon, AD, and who cares). Sad.

  17. amuller

    January 9, 2014 at 9:51 am

    xman20002000There are so many holes in your argument I don’t where to start… But I’ll try.

    1)It’s not as easy as saying “we aren’t making shots”.  You have to ask why we aren’t making shots…  System, substitions, pace, injuries, lack of energy, focus, talent.  All of those play a role.  This isn’t streetball.

    2)EG is an above average scorer.  THAT’S IT!  He brings almost zero every where else.  He doesn’t rebound.  His off the ball defense is terrible.  He can’t run a fast break.  He doesn’t get assist.  If all your gonna do is score than we need you at 23,24,25 points per game AVERAGE with the occasional 30+ point night.  He is a max player for god sake!
    3)”Coaches coach” and that is correct.  But there are a such things as bad coaches.  I’m not saying Monty is bad but I can say he is not where he needs to be.  This team is not devoid of talent.  
    We have gotten blown out 4 straight games…  That’s pathetic!  Coach has to coach with what hes got.  HE drafted AD.  HE signed RYNO.  I’m sure HE had a say so in the max contract with EG.  Also, i’m sure HE had a say so in the Jrue and Tyreke trades.  This is HIS team now.  No more excuses.

  18. Caffeinedisaster

    January 9, 2014 at 10:18 am

    NOEngineer Pluto D The name you are trying to think of is:


    I often wonder why Steimsma is on the team and not him.

  19. GerryV

    January 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Fans have the memory of the gnat! I’ve mentioned several times how the team is not a very solid JUMP SHOOTING TEAM… they don’t have legit long ballers ( 3pt)..Anderson and Gordon…who else? Plus shooting is not the system…its bad shooting….You tell be who the LEGIT SPLASHERS are? Who are the PURE SHOOTERS?…..Waiting.

  20. GerryV

    January 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    DavidLeBoeuf Who shoots it ??? Gordon only guy that legit from three now that Ryan is out…

  21. DavidLeBoeuf

    January 9, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    GerryV DavidLeBoeuf Jrue can shoot it.  Morrow can.  Hell Evans shot 35% from 3 last year, this year he’s not even taking any.  Gordon’s not taking them either.  Holiday is around 47% on the catch and shoot/spotting up!  Can’t just go to the rim all the time, Washington played with 5 guys in the paint all night!

  22. PelicanSaints

    January 9, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Rivers should get Morrows minutes and Ajinca and Whitey should share Stiemsmas minutes, this dude doesn’t jump are box out guys in the paint…..

  23. amuller

    January 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    GerryV If Monty couldn’t see this and BSS did…  That’s on him.  It’s been talked about ad nauseum on this site for months (prior to the season).  It’s become apparent that the 3 point shot is something he doesn’t value on both sides of the court.

  24. DavidLeBoeuf

    January 9, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    xman20002000 DavidLeBoeuf GerryV Onuaku?  really? That was your answer?  

    If this team didn’t have Gordon on the payroll, they could have Lopez, Vasquez, Tyreke, and another 8 million to spend on another player or two and we would be much better off.  Lopez-AD-8 million$ SF, Evans, Holiday starting, w/ Smith, Anderson, Vasquez, Aminu, Rivers coming off the bench.  This team would be much better off w/o Gordon.  The hard part is he has been playing pretty well, but his skill set is redundant and that money could be better used in other places.

  25. DavidLeBoeuf

    January 9, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    xman20002000 marios123  If this team didn’t have Gordon on the payroll, they could have Lopez, Vasquez, Tyreke, and another 8 million to spend on another player or two and we would be much better off.  Lopez-AD-8 million$ SF, Evans, Holiday starting, w/ Smith, Anderson, Vasquez, Aminu, Rivers coming off the bench.  This team would be much better off w/o Gordon.  The hard part is he has been playing pretty well, but his skill set is redundant and that money could be better used in other places.

  26. lsucpolk

    January 10, 2014 at 8:24 am

    LaNative “How dare you blame a loss on the coach!!!  How dare you!!!  You weren’t a coach yourself, neither are you a professional writer, nor did you ever play professional basketball at an all star level, so you should never ever ever ever be allowed to give your opinion on the coach, if it’s negative!!  How dare you!!!!”

  27. bradlaborde

    January 10, 2014 at 8:24 am

    xman20002000 I appreciate your attempt to always be contrarian on this site.  I didn’t choose to speed up the rebuild, the organization did.  The team is underperforming.  The Wizards are not a good team.  No excuse to ever go down 20 to them at home.
    The Pels usually play Dallas tough, I hope to see a better effort tonight and hope the stink from last game has left the building.  
    Just asking who shoots the 3 doesn’t hold water.  If you don’t have shooters, what were you doing this offseason?  The team doesn’t shy away from long 2’s.  Instead of pump faking and moving inside the line, just shoot it.

  28. Nithenz

    January 10, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Pluto D Mid-range Shooting, FT%, 3pt shooting, Assists, less turnovers…Dont kill the poor 4th guard if the 5th is a burst…

  29. Nithenz

    January 10, 2014 at 9:27 am

    xman20002000 jdtufts10 Trading EG doesnt make sense??? guess dumping EG doesnt make sense, but a good trade makes a lot of sense. Why not unloading a max player playing like a role player for half of every game.EG for a competent C or SF doesnt make sense? EG for some role players and cap to sign someone else does not make sense? Sorry, but i think that saying trading EG doesnt make sense is the thing not making sense…

  30. amuller

    January 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Gordon on the block!

  31. DavidLeBoeuf

    January 10, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    xman20002000 DavidLeBoeuf GerryV Evans has been averaging damn near a triple double the last 10 games.  Gordon doesn’t rebound.  He doesn’t get assists.  Doesn’t make anyone better offensively.  Is gawd awful on the break.  Inefficient.  Good on ball defender, terrible help defender.  Shoots a low percentage.  

    Gordon is a good player, but is a one trick pony.  Every team needs a guy like him who can get to the rim when they want.  We already have a few of those guys, and those guys make people better. 
    Evans is a much better player all around than Gordon.  We could take 15 million and get 3 guys (a 3 and D SF, a shooter at SG, and a center who can give you 20 minutes a game) that make you better.

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