Pelicans lose game of runs to Raptors in 108-101 Defeat

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Published: February 10, 2014
Game Recap Lose 3

Five runs. That’s all this game was tonight. The Raptors threw the first punch, and the Pelicans responded. The Raptors threw another punch, and the Pelicans again responded. The final seven minutes were closer, but New Orleans was outplayed down the stretch and fell a little short. Let’s take a look at each of the five stretches that made up tonight’s contest.

Run #1: Raptors 38, Pelicans 23 (14 minutes 30 seconds) – Raptors 38, Pelicans 23

Key Players: Roberts, Gordon, Aminu, Davis, Stiemsma/Ajinca (Pelicans); Lowry, DeRozan, Ross, Valanciunas (Raptors)

Key Stats

  • 3-Point Attempts: Pelicans 0-0, Raptors 5-8
  • Points in the Paint: Pelicans 10, Raptors 8
  • Pelicans’ shot chart:

Pelicans run 1

Run #2: Pelicans 26, Raptors 7 (7 minutes 30 seconds) – Pelicans 49, Raptors 45

Key Players: Rivers, Morrow, Evans, Babbitt, Davis (Pelicans); Vasquez, DeRozan, Novak, Salmons, Hayes (Raptors)

Key Stats

  • 3-Point Attempts: Pelicans 3-3, Raptors 0-3
  • Points in the Paint: Pelicans 14, Raptors 2
  • Pelicans’ shot chart:

Pelicans run 2

Run #3: Raptors 37, Pelicans 15 (11 minutes 30 seconds) – Raptors 82, Pelicans 64

Key Players: Roberts, Gordon, Aminu, Davis, Stiemsma/Ajinca (Pelicans); Lowry, DeRozan, Ross, Patterson, Valanciunas (Raptors)

Key Stats

  • 3-Point Attempts: Pelicans 0-4, Raptors 4-7
  • Points in the Paint: Pelicans 4, Raptors 12
  • Pelicans’ shot chart:

Pelicans run 3

Run #4: Pelicans 22, Raptors 5 (7 minutes 45 seconds) – Raptors 87, Pelicans 86

Key Players: Rivers, Morrow, Evans, Babbitt, Davis (Pelicans); Lowry, Vasquez, DeRozan, Novak, Salmons (Raptors)

Key Stats

  • 3-Point Attempts: Pelicans 1-1, Raptors 0-4
  • Points in the Paint: Pelicans 12, Raptors 2
  • Pelicans’ shot chart:

Pelicans run 4

Run #5: Raptors 21, Pelicans 15 (6 minutes 45 seconds) – Raptors 108, Pelicans 101

Key Players: Roberts, Gordon, Evans, Babbitt, Davis (Pelicans); Lowry, DeRozan, Ross, Patterson, Hansbrough (Raptors)

Key Stats

  • 3-Point Attempts: Pelicans 2-4, Raptors 1-2
  • Points in the Paint: Pelicans 8, Raptors 8
  • Pelicans’ shot chart:

Pelicans run 5

So, there you have the game in a nutshell. Were the Raptors the more talented team (given both squads’ current bill of health) going into tonight? Probably, and that conclusion speaks to their 21-15 victory in the game’s final 6:45. That being said, the Pelicans continue to beat a dead horse with the starting lineup that they trot out there game in and game out. After tonight, seven of the team’s nine most commonly used lineups have outscored its opponents this season. The remaining two – ranked #3 and #4 in minutes played – are outscored by 15.6 and 6.3 points per 100 possessions respectively. Those lineups are Roberts-Gordon-Aminu-Davis-Ajinca and Roberts-Gordon-Aminu-Davis-Stiemsma.

I’m not saying that, given all of the team’s current injuries, there is an easy solution to this problem. That being said, there are ways to manipulate player rotations that minimize said problem far better than the lineups which are currently being utilized. I am 100% certain that Al-Farouq Aminu brings more to the table as an NBA player than Luke Babbitt, but the fact of the matter is that the Pelicans were outscored by 24 points in Aminu’s 19 minutes tonight and they outscored the Raptors by 21 points in Babbitt’s 20 minutes. Basketball is all about playing the right five players together in the correct situations, which is by no means the same thing as playing the five best players together. With more strategic deployment of the team’s available resources, New Orleans could have won tonight. Unfortunately, a couple bad runs with players whose skill sets clashed too heavily with one other proved to be the difference.

Next up for the Pelicans are the NBA-worst Bucks in Milwaukee at 7 PM Wednesday night.

10 comments
JabberWalker
JabberWalker

It's almost like Rivers, Evans, Morrow, and Babbitt are upgrades over Aminu, Roberts, Ajinca, and Stiemsma.

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

Spot on recap.  The starters could not defend, and they only offended fans of the Pelicans.   Gordon is a shooting guard who can't shoot.  Aminu is in a major slump.  Roberts is inconsistent.   And, for some reason we can't make free throws.

Insert any of my zillion posts calling for more Withey here....

I propose the following lineups:

Starters:  Roberts, Evans, Morrow, Withey, Davis

Swaps:  Rivers for Roberts, Gordon/Babbit for Evans/Morrow, Aminu/Babbit for Withey/Morrow, Babbit/Ajinca for Morrow/Davis.  I would limit Evans, Withey, Morrow, and Davis to no more than 40 minutes each, unless we go to overtime.....

If Gordon stands around on offense, jogs up the court, and sags off good 3-point shooters, then bench him.   If Aminu shoots from more than 4 feet away with more than 5 seconds on the shot clock, bench him.   If Davis, uh never mind...

504ever
504ever

I like the recap to a point, but Monty didn't ...


- miss 12 free throws tonight, 

- fail to close out on the three that put Toronto up 98-89,

- injure two of our three best players and Smith,

- make this game a Pelicans' road-road back-to-back, or

- cause Mason to admit in this recap Toronto was the more talented team tonight.


My guess is Monty is doing things for reasons not examined in the recap like defense, which is where I thought we lost the game at the end tonight, to not overwork players on a back-to-back, and to help figure out who can help this team going forward.  (Let's be honest. The odds of this team making the playoffs are 10% or less.)


I feel like there is a direct correlation between anti-Monty tweets by Bourbon Streets Shots writers and anti-Monty posts at Bourbon street shots.com by readers.  And I question why few of the bullet points above were mentioned by Bourbon Streets Shots writers on twitter.

Also, all of this recent anti-Aminu talk is surprising to me for this reason.  Aminu is a great compliment to Anderson; that's why Aminu is here.  But, with Anderson injured, Aminu's skill sets aren't as good a fit with the Anderson-less team.  Shouldn't Aminu's suitability for this team be evaluated when the team is healthy?  


Finally, I don't care much about 'best line-up" statistics when we are missing Anderson, Holiday, and Smith.  Those three players combined averaged 96 minutes/game this season.  That is minutes for two players for an entire game unavailable right now.  I'll care about best line-ups when least Anderson and Holiday return.

mojart
mojart

Let rivers start the game against the bucks along with miller and withey at the 5 and lets see what happens.....

jmald1
jmald1

im really unhappy to see da pelicans preparing to trade Austin rivers according to espn insiders nd lets get one thing str8 im really pissed off dat aminu is still getting mins too me it been 2 nd half seasons nd aminu is developing but sometimes he does da most Ludacris basketball passes I ever seen on any given night. darus millers should not only b starting ahead of aminu but aminu should get traded very soon im tired he is a eyesore to me now.  FOR GOD SAKE CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN Y WITHEY NOT GETTING MORE PLAYIN TIME OVER DA CENTERS WE HAVE., ND EVEN MORE BIGGER QUESTIONS SHOULD B Y MONTY KEEP PLAYING SMALL LINEUPS WIT AMINU AT THE 4 SPOT BECAUSE EVEN 4 IS MAKING AMINU LOOKING SILLY. I KNO WE IS PLANNING ON TRADING RIVERS CAN WE PLZ SEE RIVERS START BEFORE HE GO OR WATS BETTER CAN WE PLZ SEE MONTY CHANGE DA STARTING LINEUP BESIDES AD FOR OPPS LINEUPS BECAUSE MATCHUP WISE ROBERTS WAS GETTING DA BUSINESS BY LOWRY FOR REAL DOE IT WAS HARD TO WATCH. I LOVE TO SEE EVENS PASSING IT WAS BEAUTIFUL TO WATCH FOR REAL. I WANT TO CHECK OUT A LINE UP WIT WITHEY ND ALEXIS TOGETHER FOR 5 MINS IM CURIOUS TO KNO HOW WOULD THEY PLAY TOGETHER. I LOVE WHITEY WIT DAVIS ALOT I HOPE DATS OUR FUTURE STARTING FRONTCOURT I KNO PROBLY NOT BUT ONE CAN DREAM. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE ROBERTS EVANS BABBIT ALEXIS ND DAVIS LINEUP ONCE IN A WHILE. MY LAST THOUGHT I WOULD LOVE TO SEE US PLAY MORE ZONE DEFENSE WE PLAYED IT BRIEFLY IT WAS BEAUTIFUL  

PelicanSaints
PelicanSaints

I agree with the your observation of the production and non production of each line up...the second unit is a poor mans line up of what Dell envisioned before all the injuries....that line up looks good depending on who they're playing.....like tonight....the guys fought hard despite playing 5 on 8 again....the refs really stuck it again to the Pels with all the bad calls...hopefully the new commissioner will look this during the off season....I love the game, but the refs are making it hard to watch....hopefully during the All Star break Monty can find ways to change his rotations up from being set in stone to game to game....He has learned to stay with the hot hand, which is a good sign...I will predict this team will be better after the break.....GO PELS!!!!!!!!!

pelicanfan
pelicanfan

Mason, Thank you for the excellent game recap!

xman20002000
xman20002000

@504ever   20 points for the home team... I sometimes wonder what we are comparing.. So who is replacing Anderson's shooting..  and Holiday's for that matter...  How can you statistically compare talent level and time on the professional level...  We just found a starting C in Ajinca..  and hope the scoring we need from the SF position we MIGHT have in Babbitt...  The good thing is we know what we have in Morrow...  But Evans and Anderson were a bet and let's not forget AD...  but between Anderson, Holiday and Smith we might get 40 to 50 a night... more or less

KingofSmootthies
KingofSmootthies

I agree 100% start miller. Then have the second unit be rivers, morrow,Evans, Babbit, Withey. And throw aminu in there to play small ball pf depending on the matchup.

Also IMO Monty has to switch up the starting 5. This is the second straight game our starters has the second unit fighting from a huge defict due to lack of engery from our starters. Either insert morrow, babitt or miller to light a fire under aminu.