Pelicans fall just a touch short on the Road

That was a weird game.  Both teams started out ice cold and sloppy.  Then both teams caught fire in the third, putting up 82 points between them.  Two factors, however, worked to doom the Pelicans in the end:  All their missing big guns, and Dirk Nowitzki.

I said in the pregame I wanted the Pelicans to defend Dirk one-on-one and not double him.  They actually did that most of the game – but the Mavs used Dirk completely differently than the usually do.  Instead of having Dirk post at the elbow, like he’s done famously for years – Rick Carlisle made a masterful decision and put him in the pick-and-pop.  That took Davis out of the picture fairly frequently as he helped on the guard and Dirk was left facing a lesser defender or a recovering Davis, and he could shoot over the top.  And shoot he did, burying 40 points and ripping it from deep as he went 5-9.

Still, the Pelicans fought in this game.  Unlike the past couple games, I didn’t see much in the way of laziness out there.  Everyone was going hard, and Monty was trying to push buttons.  He ended up cycling every player he had available into the game for at least 4 minutes trying to see who would step up, and he finally found one in Darius Miller in the fourth.  Miller gave the Pelicans that guy who could stretch the floor a little, knocked down four of five threes, and helped Davis and Gordon bring the Pelicans back from a deficit and keep the game interesting all the way to the end.  Monty even ended up messing with his rotations a bit at the end to keep him on the floor, cycling Gordon and Aminu and Smith in and out around Darius, rather than just replacing him like he usually would.  Miller paid him with threes and a massive clutch three at the end to make it a one possession game after Dallas had earned a tiny bit of breathing room.

In the end, though, Eric Gordon and Jason Smith fouled out, the Pelicans couldn’t get the ball into attack position enough, and the team fell 110-107.


  • After last night, the Mavericks were keying their defense on Eric Gordon.  His deep shot was on, but when he attacked, the Mavericks sent three guys to collapse, and it resulted in a lot of turnovers as they kept reaching in and poking the ball free.  It’s a lot harder to do that if you have to worry about Holiday, Anderson or Evans.
  • Davis was phenomenal as always. 28 and 14 and long armed defense all over the place.  He’s still got a coltish body, but a thoroughbred’s game.
  • It’s hard to win any game when you commit 33 fouls.  And there were some rock-stupid fouls out there.  Ajinca fouled Dirk Nowitzki three times on the perimeter – and twice Dirk was trying to “run” around picks.  Just let him go and get him on the other side.  Dirk’s not missing many free throws.  Ajinca wasn’t the only guy with dumb fouls.  Jason Smith committed several fouls that left my face all crinkled and confused.
  • Al Farouq loves playing Dallas, and he left everything on the floor tonight. even stroking a pair of nice jumpers.
  • Morrow still sometimes tries to create off the dribble against a set defense.  It makes me sad.
  • Austin Rivers tries to create off the dribble against a set defense too.  It makes me frustrated.  His dribbling skills remain excellent and he can get almost anywhere.  He just can’t finish anything.
  • 45 free throws for the Mavs off those 33 fouls, by the way.   That’s a terrible ratio, by the way.
  • In the third, when the Pelicans had their most offensive success, it seemed like they decided two things:  1. Whatever side of the floor Dirk is standing – that’s where we attack.  2. If we can get Calderon on that side too, we’re going to tear things up.   Like last year with Vasquez and Lopez, those two guys are less than the sum of their parts when paired defensively.
  • There was an awful lot of contact on that last play.

Next game is Monday against the Spurs.


13 responses to “Pelicans fall just a touch short on the Road”

  1. OVERTIME would have been tough, but Rivers deserved the opportunity to hit all three free throws at the end.Should be interesting to see if the NBA comes out today to apologize for their clear mistake on the game’s last play.

  2. Favoritism and in this case non-favoritism in regard to ref’s calls is the worst thing about the NBA.  Why shouldn’t  a less established player get such an obvious call?  Why shouldn’t more outrage be shown by both coach and players in this situation?  Fear of a fine or even a suspension should not stop us from standing up for ourselves.  I’d like to see coach and players confront the ref in this case!  Our depleted team gave a good effort in this one.  Can’t say the same for the Friday night game that I attended.  GO PELS!

  3. that no call pretty much sums up our whole season so far when it comes to foul calls. some of these refs are ruining the game. especially if you’re a pelz fan

  4. Just 2 terrible call first was the call that fouled Jason Smith out the game when you look at replays you can clearly see space in between him and dirk then the no call on Rivers can’t understand why the nba practice this special rules for special players crap thats 5-6 points depending on how you saw the rivers call decided the game

  5. Hopefully Darius Miller gets alot more playing time after this game. I wouldn’t mind him moving into the starting line up. I hate that we have all these injuries, but it will have Monty a look at what others can do.  He might be surprised by what he has sitting on the bench.

  6. If I was Monty I would have thrown a chair onto the court or something.  I’d make a real scene to draw attention to one of the most egregious fouls on a jump shooter I’ve ever seen.  The replay showed Ellis grabbing River’s right wrist and then using his other arm to karate chop him across both his arms.  It’s f#@king ridiculous and it’ll get swept under the rug because we’re a struggling team and no one will take notice.  Or, I’d say something during the press conference like, “I would have liked for Austin to get a call there, but I’d also hate for Tony Brothers to have his kneecaps broken by his bookie, since you know. . . he likely was betting on this game.  Oh wait, I’m sorry.  Nothing like that ever happens in the NBA.  Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

    Meanwhile, they spend the entire game sucking off Dirk the Flop King.  I was already mad about the officiating, but after the final play I really went into orbit.  I was glad that David Wesley was also calling out the refs during the broadcast.

    Otherwise, it was nice to see Miller Time return and I thought Withey put in some nice minutes as well.  We had this game and just tightened up and choked at the end with that stretch of hideous turnovers.  Time to shake it off and get ready for the Spurs.

  7. I’ve been a season ticket holder for the past seven years. I can’t seem to find the small market NBA rule book. Clearly the rules aren’t the same for everyone.

  8. Finally did what I had been intending to  forever, and whitelisted this site on my mobile adblocker. You are already whitelisted on my desktop.

  9. jusjohnthey did, which is completelly meaningless really, an apology is more insulting than anything else because it doesnt really accomplish anything

  10. Totally agree…can’t believe they make their calls by “team” now, and I am sick of seeing this happen to us…

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