Pelicans Get Blown Out by Clippers Yet Again

By:
Published: March 2, 2014
Game Recap Lose 3

Let’s be honest – this team never really stood a chance. Three minutes into the game, the Pelicans trailed 10-3 and Anthony Davis was heading to the bench with his second foul.

Game over.

Within minutes, the lead was up to 17 and Davis only returned for four minutes in the second quarter before picking up his third foul. The Clippers got wide open three’s and transition dunks, basically whatever they wanted for the rest of the night, and the end result is a 108-76 Los Angeles win. The sad part, though? The Clippers were messing around most of this game, going through the motions at about 70%, and they still demolished this overmatched Pelicans team.

The Mardi Gras road trip has been brutal so far, but the Pelicans have some winnable games against the Lakers and at Sacramento to close it out. Then, they return home to play 11 of their next 13 at the Smoothie King Center – many of which are winnable. They need to erase nights like this from their memories and get back to playing respectable defense, while simultaneously getting the ball to their superstar on the other end.

Tonight was an embarrassment, and it is a deflating feeling when you enter a game and don’t even feel like you have a chance to win regardless of what you do. That is what happened tonight to a Pelicans team that has lost seven straight, but has at least been competitive in most of those games. Tonight, they weren’t, and that speaks as much to the Pelicans as it does to the red-hot Clippers.

Notes and Observations

- So, let’s start with the good. Should be quick. Austin Rivers was ultra aggressive tonight, scoring 19 points on 14 shots, and he also had some ‘Kobe Assists’ as a few layups rolled out but were put back in. Rivers joined Tyreke Evans as the only two semi-effective offensive players for the Pelicans tonight.

- Tyreke Evans was aggressive as well, and he even knocked down a couple three balls. He was missing everything at the rim early, but those jumpers opened up some things for Tyreke later on in the game, and he also had some beautiful assists to Stiemsma that got him going when he had to enter for Davis, and then Withey due to foul trouble.

- Ajinca showed some flashes on the offensive end and had a double-double as he went for 11 and 10 in 29 minutes.

- I like that Monty is giving the young guys some run. For the second game in a row, Rivers got more minutes than Roberts. Also, Withey came in before Stiemsma and neither Aminu or Morrow played at all, as Monty went with Miller and Babbitt instead.

- That is all for the good.

- Eric Gordon was unwatchable tonight. Not only did he miss 12 of the 13 shots he took, but his ball handling was terrible and his defense was non-existent. Gordon is making nearly $15 mil per year and if somebody would have tuned into this game, not knowing who any of the players were, they would have said that Darren Collison and Matt Barnes would vastly superior players in almost every way. You know, the two guys the Clippers got for a little more than the league minimum? Gordon was -45 tonight. Says it all.

- Anthony Davis got bullied by both Blake Griffin and the refs tonight. From the little we saw of him, Davis probably wouldn’t have had a great game regardless, but the refs treated him like a scrub out there and never once gave him the benefit of the doubt on any calls. Honestly, I have never seen a star player get treated with as little respect as he does, and it’s a shame. The guy is 30-40 pounds lighter than DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, yet every time he touched them, they went flying. But how can you blame them when the refs call it? Don’t hate the players, hate the game, right?

- Brian Roberts.

- Monty said he would try to get the young guys more time down the stretch, presumably so Demps can evaluate them as he heads into the summer. Miller, Babbitt, and Withey responded by going 0-12 in 36 minutes. All 3 of Withey’s shot attempts were swatted and neither Babbitt or Miller ever looked comfortable or got an open look.

- Next game is Monday night at Sacramento, then Tuesday on NBA TV at the Lakers.

26 comments
Pelican Poster
Pelican Poster

So in 3.5 short days since it was declared impossible...we've gone from the 11th to last spot to the 9th to last...from 4.5 games from the bottom five to 3 games from the bottom five...next two games against two teams tied for that very bottom five spot...lose them and we are but two games from there with a 19 games left...after these two it certainly does not get any easier...I'm not happy about it, but it sure seems possible if the ping pong balls will allow it..... 

Sportnlyfe
Sportnlyfe

Intimidation is in itself a skill set; it's a part of the game. How do we know that? It's what Doc Rivers sent Blake Griffin into the game to do. With AD it's just so easy because his center of gravity is so high that any 4 or 5 can just walk up under him and take his legs out of his shot or rebound--why he hits the floor more than any other big man.

I don't want to pile on Monty again, but he just makes it too easy. If you don't want to take a technical for your franchise player, who's getting mugged by the Clips and jobbed by the refs, then you need a player on the bench that you can put into the game to give their lead dogs something to think about too. Remember when JSmitty clocked Griffin a couple of years ago? As a Hornets fan, you loved that moxie, right, because Griffin was trying to embarrass a very outclassed team and Jason laid down a marker saying that there will be consequences. Well, we don't have that guy, on this team, that knows when and how to equalize the intensity level. Davis has fight, but is too light in the pants, and besides, he's not credible in the role of bully. Somebody else has to be the cop on the beat. Our guys are so sweet! We don't even have anyone that knows how to do a proper stare down.

(. . .  And in a related story. . . . a Kendrick Perkins/ Carlos Boozer free agent pickup sounds a lot more interesting after last night, huh?) 

There's different kinds of toughness, but as a coach, I'd like to have a team that has the personnel to either raise or rise to the level of physicality at which the game is being played. Every dynastic team of the past 3-4 decades has had an enforcer. Some like Detroit had a whole team. Better get some.

Ddiamondd
Ddiamondd

I hate the flopping, trash talking Clippers. I hate the refs that give them all the calls. I hate their arena full of fans with closets full of purple and gold at home.

Okay, now that my venting is over, it's hard to expect much with the injuries this team has faced. The occasional lack of effort is troubling but the players surely feel some of the same apathy the fans feel. Remove the 2nd, 3rd and 6th best players from any team, especially a team with as little depth as we have, and they're going to lose some games. For example, exclude Iggy, Thompson and perhaps Barnes from the Warriors and their winning percentage will drop significantly. I'll say one thing semi positive: I'm ready for Rivers to start. I've had enough of the Brian Roberts Experience.

PelicanSaints
PelicanSaints

I like most of the moves Dell has made also...Next year when everyone is healthy, and with a few additions and subtractions I believe we will be a playoff team....It's pretty bad right now, but we are going in the right direction.......

nolahog
nolahog

I watched the Clippers broadcast, and it was interesting to listen to their announcers.  At one point, they talked for 5 minutes about "Where is Eric Gordon?"  They were shocked at how he looked compared to what they remembered when he played for the Clippers.

GerryV
GerryV

Maybe Loomis remembers his own rough episodes as GM…Maybe he is aware of what has happened due to injuries….One has to wonder if having Holiday,Smith and Anderson healthy would have allowed for the much needed depth…the team is simply not built to take such an assault on its roster…plus i notice the team is now a "target shoot" as some of you are simply looking for the bad…..Mr McNamara we are aware of you dislike for Gordon and its become obvious your eyes feast on anything negative he does…don't let it taint your observations…also Rivers ( in his 2nd yr) and still a very young player is now in everyones sights to finally declare himself a worthy project or a young player whose ceiling is bumping our heads……..this team has had its share of burps…….the final season stretch needs to get the bubbles out of the baby.

Steven J
Steven J

This was one of those games that I had to go through 4 quarters struggling to find something positive. Honestly, we have a team on the court that only has 2 legitimate starters : 1AD, 1/2 Tyreke, and 1/2 Eric Gordon lol. I keep seeing tanking is not an option, but with the product I saw on the floor last night it's hard to see us beating many teams in this league. Teams may start learning, attack AD, get him in foul trouble, and the game is over.  

PelicanSaints
PelicanSaints

Hard to win when you're playing 5 on 8...The refs really sucked last night. I guess you can blame that on Monty also. ..lol...

mojart
mojart

Bright spots:austin rivers and tyreke

If tyreke can do this consistently we really indeed have the super sub.....the super 6th man in the nba..he just need to improved more his outside shooting

Jason Quigley
Jason Quigley

Lost it at "Brian Roberts," hahaha

Like you, I'm glad we gave the younger guys more minutes, since it was pretty clear we weren't winning this one from the start (how could you? the Clippers have added so many good players for so little money)...it just wasn't our night. And I know you're not a fan of Miller but I think we have to play him at least, to see that we're not completely wasting talent. Then eventually get rid of him and keep Morrow. 

mateor
mateor

Month threw the team under the bus again. I have tried to get back on rooting for Monty, but even if we get good in the future, these players, basically all of whom are here for the long haul, won't forget what he said when they struggled.

I won't miss Monty it turns out.

yaboytonez
yaboytonez

The Brian Roberts listing was hilarious. I'm happy to see Rivers finally getting consistent minutes. Hated the way the refs called the game. Chris Paul has those guys flopping all over the court.

GerryV
GerryV

"How successful you are is directly related to how easy you  are intimidated" The mental plays a tremendous role in competition......

504ever
504ever

@PelicanSaints Assuming even reasonable luck with injuries, I believe the Pelicans will at least be a team competing for a playoff spot next year.  It's the same thing I thought this year.  If we had even reasonable luck with injuries this year, I don't think we hear any "fire Monty" comments.

504ever
504ever

@GerryV

I agree McNamara doesn't like Gordon (or Roberts), and think he has a too "rosy" view of Rivers as compared with Rivers play and production.  But I think it is fair to say nights like tonight show why Gordon is untradable".  Charlotte just cut their Gordon rather than trade him for our Gordon.  Something similar went on with Granger.  There is a reason why.

Steven J
Steven J

@GerryV  This was a review of the game. His review of Gordon was negative. Do you have one thing positive that could have been said about Eric Gordon last night?

GerryV
GerryV

Many times the GM needs the approval of somebody above him......

mateor
mateor

@Roger.That.  I have 100% disagreed with three of his moves when they happened. EG contract is know known to be a mistake. Austin Rivers is probably a draw. I don't see who else I would be overwhelmed to have in his place from that draft. Finally, I believed we got hijacked on the Jrue trade, still do. Two top 10 picks, too much.

I supported the Tyreke signing, I would rather see a slight overpay in the free market as opposed to giving up assets. But Tyreke is not playing super well lately. I hope he gets comfortable, I think he could be a real piece in this league.

Steven J
Steven J

@Roger.That.  I give Dell a pass because I actually agree with most of his moves. He put together a team that was more talented than last year, that team just happened to have the worst luck with injuries. He made some tough moves that are easy to look at now and disagree with, but who wouldn't do the same thing? Gordon's injuries couldn't be predicted, and it seemed he was worth the price at the time especially since another team offered that amount. I like bringing in Jrue, but his injury delayed his impact. Only one I'm not 100% on is giving up Lopez and Vasquez to get Tyreke. However, as we saw last night and many nights, Tyreke is a really good player with lots of potential. Add in AD and Ryan Anderson and I believe we have a team that will compete game in and game out. We'll just have to wait another year to see it, which I don't blame Dell for. 

Larry Lemoine
Larry Lemoine

@Roger.That. My guess is Loomis is not giving Demps a pass but the point is a good one. 4 years in and lots of moves from Dealer Dell but we are winning less than 40% of our games. They will probably be given one more year to turn this around. 2015, with basically the same cast, including hopefully the injured players, will be the make or break season for Dell and Monty. To keep their jobs will mean a minimum of 20 additional W's next year. Injuries will not be accepted as an excuse.

GerryV
GerryV

Ya think maybe some players ( if they get that easily upset about a coaches honest comments) might have to thicken the skin if they plan on competing in the NBA..at times coaches will send messages that way..especially if some players repeat the same mistake....( MOTIVATION)

yaboytonez
yaboytonez

You mean in post game interviews? What'd he say?

504ever
504ever

@mateor

It's easy to complain.  

Who would you have picked instead of Rivers at 10?  Marshall, who was cut by Phoenix?  (He was my choice. What do I know.)


What do you not like about Holiday, besides his injury?  (He is likely the second best player on the team for years to come.)

What do you think Nerlens Noel's NBA career path will be?  (Do you care he has played less than Holiday this year?)  

Who do you think will make an impact at 9, where we are currently slotted to pick this year?  Would he ever develop into the second best player on this team?

NOEngineer
NOEngineer

Wow! Six negative comments without one bit of basketball analysis or new thought. We get it: our team is losing and we need to fire Monty..... Now what else have you got?

mateor
mateor

@yaboytonez  The recap quoted him as saying that the the leaders of this team did not show up prepared to play and that is on them. The ESPN recap.

BumblebeePelican
BumblebeePelican

Correct, he is judging. Now let us judge him on reality. . Thumbs down