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

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Published: January 8, 2014
Game Recap Lose 2

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.

42 comments
amuller
amuller

Gordon on the block!

xman20002000
xman20002000

This team is soft... Unless something has happened but this team is in the mix for Andrew Bynum..

PelicanSaints
PelicanSaints

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.....

GerryV
GerryV

Fans have the memory of the gnat! I've mentioned several times how the team is not a very solid JUMP SHOOTING TEAM.....plus 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.

bradlaborde
bradlaborde

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.

DavidLeBoeuf
DavidLeBoeuf

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

marios123
marios123

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??

LaNative
LaNative

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.

xman20002000
xman20002000

The reason we LOST the game had nothing to do with coaching...  We aren't making shots...  Evans had 3 points tonight...  For all the haters EG had a fine game and was the leading scorer with 23 points.. Our 3 point specialist Mr. Morrow had 0 pts.. in 4 minutes..  RIDICULOUS.... AD had 21.. Holiday had 8 and Aminu had 4...  So looking at the numbers... what are some of you talking about...  Combined our listed 5s had 4, 10, 7 for Ajinca, Stiemsma, and Smith...  respectively.. 

Frankly I was shocked the game ended so close.. We can't shoot on a consistent basis... Ryan Anderson is injured.. but we have others on the team... Last season it was waiting on Eric Gordon... Now we have Holiday and Evans both with friendly contracts.. coming from team willing to trade or not extend..  But the Big Two combined for 11 points.. 

Let's keep it real devoid of prejudicial attitudes..   You can't blame the crowd leaving on the game...  NO is a questionable basketball market and certainly not baseball..  Where are the fans supporting the effort..  Were it not for Mr. Benson... the owners would be looking at another location..  

Now Rivers deserves a shot...  Perhaps we should start the 3rd quarter with him.. but Evans missed how many layups.. that's not coaching unless he learned nothing from sandlot, middle and high school... layups... Evans was 0-5 scoring 3 points at the free throw line... Aminu took 5 shots tonight.. making 2.. for a total of 4 points... 

COACHES coach... they don't play... Trade Anderson for Asik... might be a wasted conversation..


jdtufts10
jdtufts10

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 

nolahog
nolahog

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 should 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.

wilthomas178
wilthomas178

no heart+no grown-ups=inconsistent play 

PelicanYouDigIt
PelicanYouDigIt

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.

HawnitsFanatic
HawnitsFanatic

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.

mojart
mojart

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

Pluto D
Pluto D

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. 

Jason Quigley
Jason Quigley

"Hey guys here's a great idea let's trade Anderson for Asik!!!!!!!!" - lots of Pelicans fans since the summer

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 bad coaching and key injuries have completely negated all of the potential. 

jdtufts10
jdtufts10

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!! 

amuller
amuller

@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.

xman20002000
xman20002000

@bradlaborde Please.... what do you expect to happen when you are rebuilding with no real veterans... Obviously they are expecting to attempt to surround AD with players around his age..  and if you have been around sports... there are injuries you just have to live with... Gordon, Evans and Smith.. now Anderson..  Time to bring Pierre Jackson from the D League.. or is it..

GerryV
GerryV

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


xman20002000
xman20002000

@marios123 Every sports commentators knows EG is the only reliable outside weapon we have... Last season so-called fans were pissed he was out injured... now upon his return they want to trade him for lottery choices and bench players...  know nothing about the way the NBA works... although they are witnessing it

xman20002000
xman20002000

@LaNative I think these kids are tired and weary because they are young and unaccustomed to the rigors of the game... plus this is the first time playing together... But in your comments there is no mention of Ryan Anderson...  Stiemsma and Smith have been out a while with AD playing lots of minutes...  Withey who knows but we need more production out of the Center and Small Forward positions... offensive

amuller
amuller

@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.

Nithenz
Nithenz

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

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

@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.

xman20002000
xman20002000

@Jason QuigleyDude coaches don't make nor miss shots... And its not the fans but a number of sources suggest doing the deal with Houston...  We are weak at the 5 and you can get a 3 point shooter...

xman20002000
xman20002000

@jdtufts10EG was the leading scorer tonight... We are still determining who plays the best together...  Look our Bigs would rather take mid-range jumpers... But Ajinca seems to be coming around.. But trading EG doesn't make sense... 

xman20002000
xman20002000

@amuller@GerryV Please read your response..  It's not about Monty but Evans, Smith, Roberts, Rivers.. etc..  Coach doesn't have to teach layups..  AD has to run with Evans to get the put back on a layup..  a reason for his numbers to be down...  then how inconsistent is Aminu, Rivers and Morrow... what happened to Miller...  These guys seem scared to shoot so they revert to dribbling the ball into the paint.. with Bigs waiting to bat them down... 


We could have traded Anderson for Asik and brought in a 3 point specialist..but now Anderson is playing closer to the rim.. with not much to kick it out to..  At the end of the day, these guys are collecting a check and might need to move on..

bradlaborde
bradlaborde

@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. 

DavidLeBoeuf
DavidLeBoeuf

@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!  


DavidLeBoeuf
DavidLeBoeuf

@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.

xman20002000
xman20002000

@amuller@xman20002000OK so there are holes in my argument but that is the nature of informed discourse...

1.  When a 6"10 person can't put a ball in the basket that he is standing under...  come on man... These are professionals why are they getting paid.. and what does that have to do with the system when you can't make a layup.

2.  EG is the best we have...  you qualify it... we aren't seeing the same thing... 23 points is good enough for most...

3.  So how do you evaluate the worth of a coach wherein you can label ours bad.. where is you data for a team "the youngest in the league" and rebuilding..

xman20002000
xman20002000

@NOEngineer@Pluto D Great analysis and comments...  Now it appears we know who we can keep and who we can try to move by the Feb trading deadline..  and the guy from the D League that we cut was Arinze Onuaku...  And looking at what we settled for... Personally I would rather they develop him rather than play Stemsma..

Nithenz
Nithenz

@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...

DavidLeBoeuf
DavidLeBoeuf

@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.  

DavidLeBoeuf
DavidLeBoeuf

@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.

xman20002000
xman20002000

@DavidLeBoeuf@GerryV Washington can do that because we don't have any muscle in this team..  Onuaku was supposed to be the man but what happened... Our Bigs, including Anderson, are 15 foot jump shooters...  and the reason Asik would be so valuable and we are also on the list of teams interested in Andrew Bynum..Frankly we can't get there with this crew..