Pelicans Lose a Grind-It-Out Affair to the Timberwolves

Published: January 29, 2014

The narrative about tonight could be any number of things. It could be that once Anthony Davis was ruled out the New Orleans Pelicans stood no chance against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Or it could be that the Pelicans played hard against a Wolves team which really didn’t look into the game and shot a lackluster 40.2% from the field.

But neither of those is correct. The Pelicans were completely decimated by injuries with Anthony Davis ruled out shortly before tipoff. I jokingly tweeted out that this game doesn’t matter. Except NBA players were on the court, in a Pelicans uniform and playing one out of 82 regular season game. It matters and the team treated it as such.

This team, missing two starters and two key bench players, came out and played tough. Against a standard Wolves team it wouldn’t have mattered; but with Nikola Pekovic out and Minnesota shooting poorly, the Pelicans forced the opposition into a grind-it-out win.

That’s exactly what the Pelicans should have done.

Saying they played hard doesn’t mean the team played well, though. Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans combined to go 9 for 32. As a team the Pelicans took 6 more 3-pointers than their season average but only hit 2 of them en route to an icy-as-New Orleans 9.5% from deep. Inside the arc wasn’t much better as the Pelicans shot a lowly 35.4%. Things could have gone better and a win was certainly a possibility. Things didn’t and the end result is only an 11 point loss. A strange 11 point loss.

This game could easily have been a blowout, even with Minnesota not playing well. It wasn’t, and fans should be happy about that. However, it leads to a lot of What If’s—mainly about having a fully healthy team.

And thus the season of not-good-not-bad continues on.

How are you feeling after tonight’s loss? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. champsworld504

    January 29, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Good job, good effort

  2. 504ever

    January 29, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Props to Aminu, including as the only player to have an offensive efficiency great than 1 (although a few came close).  Props to Aminu and Stiemsma as only players in double digits outside of scoring (rebounding); no one else came close.

    Our shooting percentage has to get better.

  3. Jason Quigley

    January 30, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Yeah I know we could have been blown out, but I don’t understand how you can take some kind of moral victory out of it when we only scored 77 points. Unless you win, scoring under 80 is just bad.

  4. NOEngineer

    January 30, 2014 at 1:04 am

    Bad job, good effort. 
    We were robbed of at least 15 free throws.   Gordon, Evans, and Withey absorbed a lot of contact that wasn’t called.
    Of course, the main problem was epic failure from 3-point range.  Not much can be done about that.   Morrow and Gordon and Roberts should be able to hit those open shots.  
    The only coaching complaint I have is switching Aminu onto Love when we were down only 3.  Withey was doing a great job on him except for referee gifts.  Aminu had more trouble and it hurt us as the lead ballooned back up to 11. 
    I would like to see Ryan Anderson spend a couple of hours per day watching film of Kevin Love for the next 6 months.  He’ll never have Love’s bulk, but if he could absorb his tecniques of rebounding and improve that aspect he would become an elite player.

  5. bradlaborde

    January 30, 2014 at 7:48 am

    Byron Scott, errrr, Monty had an upset superstar on the bench.  That’s all that matters this game.
    Tyreke Evans isn’t interested.  Not sure if he is hurt, still under the weather, or feels like he should be starting (I do not know why he isn’t starting either).  There was a report during one of the recent games that Monty was still “learning how to use Tyreke during games”.  Uhhhhhhhhhhh.  That would have been an ok discussion before signing him to a 4/$44M contract, but 40+ games into the season?  Another example of the GM and HC on different pages.

  6. Caffeinedisaster

    January 30, 2014 at 8:30 am

    I wasn’t able to watch this one.

    Upon seeing the score, I assumed someone screwed up and posted the results of a COLLEGE basketball game.

  7. Jake Madison

    January 30, 2014 at 10:31 am

    The team was missing four of its top six players. Kind of unrealistic to expect anything spectacular

  8. Jason Quigley

    January 30, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    Fine…uh…I liked Withey’s blocks?

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