Pelicans drop threes to take down Timberwolves

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Published: February 8, 2014
Game Recap Win 3

Through three quarters, the Pelicans were being grinded slowly to death by the Timber wolves defense.  When they got into the paint, the shots they get were tough or just plain bad.  They had trouble keeping their dribble alive as the Timberwolves simply packed the paint, denying easy shots at the rim.  On the opposite end, the Timberwolves pump-faked, flailed, collapsed and tossed themselves about, drawing free throw after free throw, ending with 37 attempts to the Pelicans 16.  This pushed the Wolves lead to 12 by early in the fourth quarter.

Then, the Pelicans decided that if the Wolves wanted to pack the paint, they were going to simply shoot over it.  Monty went small, playing Davis at center, Luke Babbitt or Aminu at Power Forward, and surrounding them with combinations of Gordon, Morrow, Rivers and Roberts.   And the shots fell.  Some shots fell that had no business falling – but they fell nonetheless, putting the Wolves in a hole on a 14-2 run, and a series of shots by Roberts, Davis and Morrow put the game away 98-91.

Davis was a beast as always, but the best thing I saw from him all night was the way he was defending the high pick and pop with Kevin Love.  He simply didn’t give Love any room.  I can’t credit him with more than one of the 6 misses Love had from downtown tonight – simply because usually Davis forced Love to put the ball on the floor when he was defending him.  Most of those shots came against other defenders.  Coupled with his usual array of jumpers, transition dunks and quick-step assaults on the rim, Davis had everything rolling tonight as he finished with 26 and 10.

Other Observations

  • Babbitt got 19 minutes tonight serving as a stretch four and though his shooting wasn’t on, his shot looked good, and he was mixing it up well for rebounds.  His ability to stretch the floor also earned him important fourth-quarter minutes that Anderson normally would have gotten.  The worst part of Babbitt’s game?  Any player with a modicum of speed get by him with ease.  He is a perimeter player offensively, but definitely not defensively.
  • Tyreke Evans struggled terribly tonight.  With the Wolves packing the paint on him, he could get nothing going and kept dribbling into trouble and throwing up bad shots.  He had a couple nice passes, but really, he looked like he was struggling physically as well.  I’d rather have Tyreke get well, then come back when healthy.  Partial Tyreke is a problem.
  • Roberts had moments that were great – and moments that were head-scratchingly awful.  Happily, that shot at the end to put the Pelicans up big has erased our memory of his forays into the paint with no where to go.  Right?
  • Morrow gets pumped when his shot starts going down, and tonight he had some huge shots.  Then he went into hero mode and tried a double crossover pull up 20-foot two pointer without passing the ball at all.  It was almost an Airball.  He needs to stick to shooting on the catch.
  • The best Morrow moment was at the with just a minute and a half left in the game.  He was guarding Corey Brewer.  Rubio missed a shot and tumbled into Morrows legs, taking him out.  As he fell onto Rubio, Morrow fell backwards and pulled Brewer down on him., creating a Morrow sandwich.  As Brewer struggled away to try to get up, Morrow grabbed him and used him to lever himself off the ground, pushing Brewer back down again.  He then ran to the wing three point mark as Rubio and Brewer still tried to get up, caught a pass, and drilled a big three in transition.  Good stuff.
  • Gordon really, really struggled on the drive tonight – but his jumper was pure.
  • I can’t tell if it’s just the injuries Kevin Love was playing through, but he seemed pretty joyless out there.  Even on his biggest plays, he just looked like he’d rather be playing Parcheesi somewhere or something.  What did you think?

Next game is Sunday in Brooklyn!

 

17 comments
jmald1
jmald1

THE line up I  been dreaming monty test out is WITHEY AT THE 5 AD AT DA 4 BABBITT AT THE 3 MORROW AT DA 2 ND RIVERS AT DA 1 IDC I JUST SEE HOW EFFECTIVE ND ONE THING I WAS SHOCK BY AT SEEM BABBITT PLAYED SMART DESPITE HE WEAKNESSES THAT WAS A HUGE IMPROVEMENT AT 3 BECAUSE NO LIE EVERY SHOT HE PUT up I THOUGHT WAS GOIN IN BECAUSE HIS SHOT WAS NICE. WITHEY NEEDS TIME HE IS OUR BEST CENTER PERIOD BECAUSE HE HAS 2 SKILLS DAT FAR EXCEEDS DA REST OF OUR CENTERS DATS HE CAN MOVE HIS FEET ND NOT FOUL. BUT TBH I LIKED WAT I SEEN FROM STEMSMA LATELY HOWEVER I FEEL HE IS BEST WIT WITHEY I FEEL THOSE TWO CAN DO DAMAGE TOGETHER EVEN THOUGH I CANT EXPLAIN Y I SEEN THOSE TWO TOGETHER ON DA COURT ONE GAME THEY HOUNDED DA BIG MAN FOR LIKE 5 MINS DEN MONTY TOOK WHITEY OUT ND GREG GOT EXPOSED AGAIN. I FEEL ROBERTS SHOULD B OUR CLOSER BUT I FEEL RIVERS SHOULD B OUR STARTING PG WHILE JRUE IS HURT BECAUSE HE BRINGS MORE ENERGY PERIOD ND I GET TIRED OF SEEING ROBERTS OVER DRIBBLE EARLY IT ALWAYS PISS ME OFF IM DONE

PelicanSaints
PelicanSaints

Great total team effort last night..despite the refs they stayed the course, second game in a row that Monty deserves so love, once again going with the hot hand...I lot of noise for more time for Withey,but agree how Monty is using him or not...he would've gotten destroyed by Love last night..thus perhaps hurting his confidence going forward...Babbit will definitely help going forward...Ajinca is progressing nicely, he brings a certain toughness along with playing better off of AD.....Rivers is finding his niche ....Morrow is playing well plus showing a lot of leadership on the floor....things are looking up...

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

I am happy to see Babbit out there as a floor spacer.  He filled the Ryno role of offensive rebounder also. 

Where I wanted to see Withey was in the first 3 quarters in replacement of Stiemsma when AD was playing the 4, and in replacement of Aminu when AD was playing the 5.   Aminu could not handle the Power of Love, and Stiemsma could not rebound against their front court.   Withey may not have been able to do either, but my feeling is that he could do better and gain valuable experience.   I'd want to know by year end how many bigs we need to acquire in the off-season.   It would help to see Withey competing against All-Stars for some meaningful minutes.

I view Withey as AD lite.  He defends with less fouling that Stiemsma or Ajinca, he moves his feet as well as any of our bigs, he can elevate to alter shots, and he is active when the ball is in the air to box out.   His lack of offense is what makes him the center when playing next to AD, not his bulk or lack of mobility on defense.    

If Withey gets minutes and the defense drops off versus when Stiemsma is in there, then I'll jump off his bandwagon.   However, I think the opposite will occur.  I hope we find out.

I also forgot to give props to Gordon.  I wanted him out after the consecutive unforced turnovers, but he proved me wrong with his shooting and some aggressive on-ball defense.   I'd love to see 3 more games in a row with at least this level of performance down the stretch.   Give the other GMs something to discuss during All-Star week.....

bradlaborde
bradlaborde

Monty deserves credit for this one.  I'd like him to play Withey more (don't care about Miller), but I think every fanbase questions rotations at some point (Golden State, Chicago, Clips, etc).  I like the momentum this team is building going into next year.  I still go into eastern conf games confident of a win and western conf games confident of a loss.  Monty and co. have a long way to go before that changes.  


I hope Jrue can come back for a stretch this year.  I don't start the '14-15 season with Monty overcoaching him like I believe he did this year.  Until then, no sleep til BROOKLYN.

nolahog
nolahog

The flopping in the league is getting out of hand.  Minnesota was ridiculous.  Their second half was the grossest, most pathetic display of flopping and trying to suck the refs' d#%ks that I've seen this season.  They might have gotten some of those calls at the end of the game if they hadn't been doing it ALL F%#KING GAME.  I even saw Davis exaggerate a fall after getting hit during a jumper.  I was like, "Come on Anthony, don't drink the troll juice."  How can the league be serious about wanting to eliminate flopping when their biggest stars (LeBron, Paul) are the the most egregious offenders?  Fines aren't going to cut it.  There's going to have to be some sort of in game penalty when it happens.  I think they should have challenge flags like the NFL.  Each team gets 2, and they can throw them if they think their opponent flopped.  If the replay shows that to be the case the offender gets charged a shooting foul and the challenging team gets the ball back (like a clear path foul).  Fines after the game will have zero effect on players' behavior.


Tip of the hat to Monty!  He seems to have learned from the San Antonio game, and we've seen two straight games where he's stuck with hot players and changed his lineups at the end based on what the opposition is showing him.  Rivers got a lot of playing time in the clutch because his speed on defense was bothering Minny, and he stuck with Babbitt because he was playing with a lot of energy and Minnesota was definitely afraid of his three point shooting (even though he missed most of them tonight).  Also, even though his foot speed wasn't great, I thought his defense was much better than I expected it to be.  He got his hands on a lot of loose balls, and correctly guessed that guy (Brewer?) was going to try a step through layup on that fast break near the end of the game (resulting in the guy turning the ball over).



GREAT WIN!!  PLAYOFFS, BABY!!!!


champsworld504
champsworld504

So withey and Miller got as many minutes as I did last night but Luke Silly Babbitt got 19? That's one huge problem I have with monty. I'll also give him props for letting the 2nd unitspark that great 4th quarter. Anthony Morrow, where were those shots when we were 2 games under .500? I wondered throughout the ESPN telecast if Dell Demps paid Hubie Brown to say all of those great things about Eric Gordon to boost his trade value. Just a thought. Gordon had a good 2nd half, minus to 2 hideous turnovers. I was impressed how Davis finished the game with those 5 fouls, can't wait to see him and Rivers in their man bodies so they won't get knocked to the floor so much. Anyone know the estimated return of Holiday?

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

Sorry, but the refs were putrid.   Several instances where Minny created the contact, often to Pelicans' faces, and drew the free throws.   Many other simple calls that mostly went against us.  Love was moving on every screen and throwing elbows and pulling Davis' arm into his chest and drawing foul after foul.  I was up in the Balcony, so maybe my homer glasses were affecting my eyesight.   It took uncharacteristically awesome shooting to beat the team of 8.

Davis wanted this one very much, and he refused to let us lose.   With him we are playing Eastern Conference playoff basketball while missing 3 of our top 8 players.

It is really pissing me off to see Withey benched.  I would love to hear a solid reason why from Monty, and that requires someone with access to ask the question.   Hint.  I don't see Miller's case as being nearly as strong as Withey's.

Great point in the recap about Love.  He is a strong rebounder and dogged post player, but his attitude is horrible.   I guess I'd want him, but don't know that I'd give up Ryan Anderson for him despite the basketball reasons to do so.

This was one of the best crowds of the year.   Lots of Smoothie buzz, ref hating, and appreciation for a fourth quarter clamp-down and three-fest.   They need this during season ticket renewal time.   I  hope that we sweep the upcoming trip and the All-Start game generates some carryover attendance.   'Twas fun last night!


Jason Quigley
Jason Quigley

"Roberts had moments that were great – and moments that were head-scratchingly awful. "
Isn't that every game?

One of the more exciting games of the year! Glad we performed that way for all to see on national TV. 

KingofSmootthies
KingofSmootthies

Just an observation but what has happen to Miller's playing time. Seems like he has been forgotten about, but IMO he provides the same floor spacing ability as Babbit and is more athletic. Not only has Miller been forgotten about so has Withey. Hope these players don't leave us in the future and turn out to be solid role players beache we were too stubborn to give them a shot.

504ever
504ever

Didn't I just watch this game a few nights ago?  Offensive efficiencies over 1.0 for Davis, Roberts, Morrow, everyone who played C (and now Rivers and Gordon).  Crucial shot late by Roberts.  [Morrow with a (near) airball after a series of moves that is not his game.]



Well I like it a few nights ago and I like it now.

Pelican Poster
Pelican Poster

I like that Morrow plays with energy...sometimes it seems like we play without passion, so if he can stir up the troops, good for him.  Evans definitely not ready to come back yet, but I respect the effort.  Rivers had another nice period of time on the court I thought, and I actually heard boos when he was taken out with 3min left in the 4th. Monty became the wise man here as Roberts came in fresh and finished them off offensively.  Babbitt really has a great shot, nailing his first and barely missing the others...I saw him go several minutes in warmups without missing a 3...really liked his effort on the boards, but his lack of strength provided an embarrassing takeaway on one rebound that he had already corralled.  I didn't realize Love had become such a "flopper" out there, giving Kevin Martin a run for his money on who could do the best acting. Think they were auditioning for Hollywood South? Glad Pekovic was unavailable as he has eaten our lunch a few times.  Lost the first three quarters and killed them in the 4th 37-20, almost a complete reversal of the Spurs game performance.  I like what I am seeing as we've won 7 out of 10 and in looking at the schedule, it appears we have the potential to make a nice run thru the end of this month.  Who'da thunk it with the players we are missing? Monty should get some credit for this shouldn't he or is it all Monty's fault all the time regardless of the outcome?

RobertWelch
RobertWelch

@champsworld504  I agree about Davis playing with those 5 fouls. When he got the 5th, it was such a bad reach in foul I was afraid he'd get another before the game was over. But it was good Monty left him in to see how he handled the situation. Obviously he was needed on the floor, but I think there was still 4 minutes to go? I guess at that point it wouldn't matter if you take him out for a couple minutes or if he'd gotten a final foul around the 2 minute mark. Either way, it was good to see he can play in that situation and not miss the end of the game. His staying on the floor gave them the opportunity for the win I'm sure.

504ever
504ever

@champsworld504  and others


So in a season where we will very likely not make the playoffs, the Coach shouldn't take long looks at the new guy, Babbitt, to see what he can do and how he fits here?  I'll never agree with that.

To the people who think Withey should have gotten (more) time tonight:  Did you see the small ball line-up?  See that true Centers only played about 30 minutes and 2/3rds of the game?


I can't understand all of these posters who complain about a great win when we are down 2.5 players (Anderson, Holiday, and about half of Evans) and beat a team with a better record, who is only down 1 player.  We do it with a very strong 4th quarter, a nice change, against a team with a better record.


I'd get it if people said 'Monte did a very good overall job tonight but I have a few minor concerns or questions'.  But no one says that.  I don't get it.

bradlaborde
bradlaborde

@CPMDatson Are you the proofreading intern for the Times Pic ya nose?  They do stellar work there.  IMPACTFUL COMMENT.

Jason Calmes
Jason Calmes moderator

Hey, big reader, how about you read the part where it tells you how to suggest changes, then you stay on on topic?

TheMACkinPC
TheMACkinPC

Just because they're not playing doesn't mean they're not developing or that the coach hates him. I think Mac made the point that Jimmy Butler didn't see much time his first season, then his second season he got unleashed. IIRC Lance Stephenson was similar. Some coaches just seem to believe in bringing young guys along slowly if they can afford to and keeping the vets who have paid their dues and have experience happy with minutes if they are close to par to the young guy.

Miller's case is more understandable. Morrow has been playing at the 3 and has been hot lately. With Withey, I would really bet that the coaching staff is very high on him, but even as we saw with AD last year they probably don't believe in throwing young, physically immature bigs into too much fire.