Kings make it reign from all over the court in 114-97 demolition of Pelicans

Published: January 21, 2014

In a game that was never really close, the Kings straight up crushed the Pelicans tonight. There really isn’t much else to say. Even missing both Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday, New Orleans should have been able to, at the very least, keep the game close against one of the bottom-feeders in the Western Conference. Instead, Eric Gordon scored 7 points on 6 attempts against one of the worst defensive teams in the league while Rudy Gay dropped 41 points on 25 shots, leading Sacramento to 91 points after just 3 quarters of play. The result was a pretty embarrassing double-digit home defeat.

  1. Don’t put the Kings into the bonus early. If you think the Pelicans did a decent job in this regard, you clearly got to the game late. New Orleans committed ten fouls in the first twelve minutes, leading to 13 Sacramento free throw attempts. By halftime, the Pelicans were up to 18 fouls and the Kings were up to 24 free throws. Fail.
  2. Keep your best rim protector at the rim. All you have to do is look at the Kings’ 50 points at the rim (58% shooting in the restricted area) + 31 free throw attempts to see the train wreck that was the Pelicans’ interior defense. Major, major problems to be solved here, even with a full stable of healthy players.
  3. Contain Isaiah Thomas. While he didn’t score terribly efficiently (20 points on 17 attempts), he finished with a double-double (11 assists) and ran circles around Brian Roberts, consistently acting as the catalyst for successful Kings possessions.

Silver linings:

  • Jeff Withey. The Pelicans’ rookie center played 16 1/2 minutes tonight and finished with 14 points on 5-6 shooting to go along with 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks, and no turnovers (not to mention the Pelicans were +14 with him on the court despite losing by 17). At this point, there is no good reason to keep letting Greg Stiemsma see so many minutes instead of letting one of your rookies get more playing time to develop (unless tanking is actually Monty Williams’ goal). We’ll see if tonight motivates a reallocation of minutes at the center position.
  • Darius Miller. Finishing with a +/- of +19 in a game that the Pelicans LOST by 17 gets you on here by itself. Statistically, he contributed very little apart from 4 rebounds, although I did like what I saw from him defensively in his 17 minutes.
  • Brian Roberts. Roberts scored 15 points on 6-10 shooting and added 6 assists without committing a single turnover. Of course, he couldn’t exactly defend Isaiah Thomas.
  • …aaaand that’s about it. Austin Rivers played pretty well in some areas tonight (12 points on 4-8 shooting), but the 2-6 shooting from the FT line is just as frustrating as always. Davis earned 11 free throw attempts, but didn’t seem terribly engaged on the defensive side. Aminu’s offensive box score looks good… that is, until you remember that he was (supposed to be) guarding Rudy Gay. Yikes. I don’t feel like talking about this game anymore.

The Pelicans are back in action on Friday night in Detroit, as Davis and Drummond will square off for the first and only time this season (Davis was injured when the Pistons came to town earlier this season). Catch the game on Fox Sports New Orleans at 6:30 PM.


  1. mojart

    January 21, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    i hope monty finally realize that withey is better than steismma after this game

  2. champsworld504

    January 21, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    At least no one got injured 2nite. The tank machine Greg Steaming pile Steisma brought a can of gasoline to the fire in the 3rd quarter and the lead predictably exploded to 20+. Did Gordon play 2nite?

  3. jmald1

    January 21, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    can someone answer me something about austin rivers ok in da summer league rivers was asked to show his mid range game nd he succeeded. by no means im sayin da competition is da same but if he was asked nd did wat he was told is da rivers not succeeeding  on da rim more of wat da coaches telling rivers to attack da rim or is it  da player will to fail over nd over again because i feel rivers is not attacking more of monty plan or is it river? plz someone can give me some insight plz because i dnt want to unfairly judge monty because i do feel he is doin very badly as da pelicans coach

  4. dxxpxx

    January 22, 2014 at 12:43 am

    maybe we are tanking cause Monty seemed to stick with the lineup that sucked the most and held back the guys that were producing. coach has got to let these young guns loose

  5. NOEngineer

    January 22, 2014 at 7:41 am

    Stats update:
    We could have one of the best starting front-court trios in the leauge as measured by Wins Produced per minute, with Ajinca as a league-average backup.     That is, or course if we started Withey and he held up against starters.  Huge ifs….   Davis is 12th in the league by this metric, and Aminu 28th among qualified players (enough minutes).  Anderson was below average, due to his low rebounding numbers and declining shooting efficiency.  Miller is not productive.  Sitemsma is costing our team wins every minute he plays.
    Our backcourt has zero players that grade out above average.  Holiday is close, and a huge upgrade over Vasquez.  No regrets there.  Roberts, Gordon, and Morrow are worse than average, and one of these is paid like a superstar.   If his salery was used to pay for 2 slightly-above average guards we would be competetive.  Rivers is way below average, costing the team wins when he plays this season, but less than last year.  Evans is hard to peg, since his numbers were so bad at the beginning of the year that his yearly numbers may be skewed low.   His last set of games don’t seem to be very efficient or productive, however.   
    The productive starting lineup seems to be Withey-Davis-Aminu-Roberts-Morrow considering injuries.   Off the bench should come Ajinca, Evans, Gordon, and Miller if absolutely necessary.    On the bench should stay Stiemsma and Rivers.    Actual results may vary…..

  6. adfly

    January 22, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Monty keeps giving playing time to greg. Even after Jeff massively out played him. Monty is convincing me more and more that he is not the right coach for this team

  7. Caffeinedisaster

    January 22, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Monty’s in on the tank.  There’s no other reason Steimsma gets the minutes he gets.
    Rudy Gay scores 41?!!!  Did the kidnappers leave a ransom note when they snatched Aminu?

  8. nolahog

    January 22, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I went to this game, and it easily qualifies as the worst loss of the season.  The arena was completely dead for the entire game, except for the fans moaning every time the Kings got another offensive rebound or loose ball (which would invariably be converted into a Cousins dunk or Rudy Gay 3 pointer).  It was like watching a sick, diseased animal.  You just prayed that someone would get out the shotgun and put us out of our misery.  Aminu’s defense wasn’t great, but Gay was just in the zone tonight and with the game out of reach for most of the fourth quarter, his teammates just kept feeding him and he went into heat check mode, seeing how many fadeaways and off balance shots he could make (it was alot).
    What Whithey may lack in upper body strength is made up by good foot speed.  He’s clearly a quicker with his defensive rotations than Whithey, and successfully jumped a few passing lanes and created some turnovers.  Please let him play.
    Roberts’ stat line may have looked acceptable, but he’s a shooting guard, not a point guard.  Multiple times on pick and rolls he was left with Isaiah Thomas guarding Anthony Davis, and couldn’t get the ball to him.  Just throw it up in the air!!!!
    We are a bad team.

  9. GerryV

    January 22, 2014 at 11:05 am

    The Pelcans lacked good ole tough bazen toughness last night.What troubles me is that this issue has emerged before.Maybe its a personality thing.You watch a Kings team simply wreck you by shooting 70% in the first qrt and go off for 38 pts….their is a difference between hot shooting and allowig teams to go off on you….crdit the Kings for playing tough..( malones personality rubs off on you)  the Pels made a run of it .but the Kings flexed and wham!!!….Was one of the only games where i almost turned into  a Richard Sherman type commentary……( had to do some Yoga when it was over…

  10. GerryV

    January 22, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Plus tough to keep your ‘rim protector’ at the rim’ when the defensive rules force you to move him…i thought it was more of a lack of  ‘when the ball moves you move”..lead footed like defense was perplexing to say the least..or the most ..or the least…whatever.

  11. pels4life

    January 22, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    I hope for montys sake he is tanking because there is no good reason to be starting roberts and steimsa

  12. jerrywp

    January 22, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    They lost their FAN Base when the gave up the I’m IN slogan for the team. How can you get fans when we don’t feel any connection> All my neighbors quit showing up when new owners came in and got rid of the community support. You can spend money on players but without the support of the commuinty we feel disconnected/

  13. jmald1

    January 22, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    aint it time to get rid of aminu im tired dis man dis is bullshit in the sense u get paid for 2 reason and the two things u good at u failed at today for u suppose to play wit energy and play defense ok u failed at both of those den he is the worst finisher in da nba next to rivers and i love rivers he has somewhat of a excuse by playin out of position not aminu it been 2 nd half seasons wit new orleans and he is da biggest tease in da nba one out of 5 games he look like he have a future in da nba nd da other 4  he look like a bum of the streets wit lenght cmon man

  14. bradlaborde

    January 22, 2014 at 3:53 pm

    I had LASIK yesterday requiring me to miss the game. Lucky me, I saw none of it. If anyone here is considering this procedure, I suggest doing it on a game day.

  15. bradlaborde

    January 22, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    GerryV Gerry, I like your comments and have enjoyed you since your radio show (the one that ended with “Don’t you just know it”).  I learned a lot about watching basketball from you.  Most of your comments are about watching players and on the court successes and (mostly) failures.  I don’t remember you ever being critical of a coaching staff or front office (while on the hornets payroll or off).  Maybe because you were one.  Who is at fault if your rim protector is traded and not adequately replaced?  Who is at fault for overpaying an untradeable max contract player?  Who is at fault if your coach sticks to defensive princlples without a willingness to change?  At what point do you look off the court and determine it’s time for a new voice?

  16. GerryV

    January 22, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    bradlaborde GerryV you probably didn’t listen carefully…my opinions of the team over the 21 years i was the analyst… yes many were taken to task ..i just didn’t scream it…i was always able to back up  my opinions with video and fact as some of the coaches who asked questions discovered…there is a  right way and a w wrong way to evaluate a player……thanks for the kind words…its a talent issue issue right now…..i will monitor as time moves along..always great to hear from you Brad

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