Shorthanded Pelicans Dropped by Mavericks

Published: January 10, 2014
Game Recap Lose 4

The news that Jrue Holiday would be out indefinitely with a stress fracture carried with it the assumption that the Pelicans would be a pretty bad team until he got back. And tonight, that’s what we saw.

I don’t want to get overly critical of our performance tonight, though it would be fairly easy to. This team already hurt for depth, and without Jrue, the Pelicans lack the means to facilitate offense effectively. Sure, certain players had outbursts of scoring, but 18 turnovers vs. 15 assists told the story that the Pelicans just couldn’t get everyone involved. More importantly, the defense took yet another step back without Jrue, as the Pelicans struggled all night to contain the Mavericks, who went a scorching 14-28 from deep. Conversely, the Pelicans shot 3 for 7. Yikes.

It’s going to be rough with the roster as it is, so expectations must be adjusted. There were, however, some positives from the game tonight. Here are some general notes and observations from tonight, most of which are positive.

1. Eric Gordon went off for 27 points on 9-13 shooting. He was electric in the first half, but disappeared in the early 3rd quarter. He made his first 2nd half look with 3 minutes to go and then hit a jumper right after that.. and then was subbed out. Morrow was substituted for him, and I’m not sure why that wasn’t changed. I’m of the belief that you leave in scorers when they’re hot. I’m not sure it would have made a difference for the final result though, as the Pelicans were just playing a better team.

2. Austin Rivers got a lot of minutes early by default, as Roberts had to be subbed out with 2 early fouls. While Rivers was not perfect, I thought he played very well. 12 points on 6-11 shooting, 4 assists, a steal, and only one turnover for AR25.

3. Anthony Davis hoisted up 19 shots on the night. With the Pelicans lacking firepower, this is a great time to let AD experiment with his own offense. There is nothing like game experience to test your repertoire, and he got some looks tonight. He also recorded 5 blocks (one from blocking a Dirk jumper!!) and 2 steals (including another clean pick of a guard). Most importantly, he walked off the court healthy. I don’t know if I can take another injury.

4. Tyreke Evans only played 9 minutes of the night, and though I haven’t gone back and watched, I would imagine that he was benched because he wasn’t playing with intensity. He had a pretty bad turnover and jogged back as a Maverick beat him and Gordon to the basket in transition. If the effort was as poor as I remember, I am in full support of the benching. I don’t care if you’re 0-40 or 40-0: you should want to clean up your mistakes. [Edit: Monty Williams said after the game that Tyreke re-injured his ankle, and that is why he didn’t play]

5. Jason Smith went down after toppling over on a charge and stayed down for a minute or two. He returned to the game and it appears everything is fine.