Pelicans are Foul in loss

Published: March 3, 2014

It’s not like they had a monopoly on the fouls.  The Kings managed to contribute a huge number themselves to a choppy game with no visual flow and multiple calls made 25 feet from the hoop.   It was, however, the Pelicans, who managed the though feat of gift wrapping 41 free throws to the Kings on 34 fouls.  You might be tempted to blame Stiemsma and Ajinca, who are the usual suspects on fouling, but everyone got into the act.  Gordon and Morrow, who rarely foul anything, totaled 9.  Aminu’s first two plays of the game were both fouls.

Lots of fouls, and yet, the Pelicans still managed to only lose by 7.  That’s how crappy the Kings were playing too en route to 19 turnovers.  In fact, if the Kings hadn’t deployed the (still underrated) Reggie Evans, they would lost the game.

Reggie turned the game around.  He hustled his way to 13 rebounds, and even when he wasn’t getting the ball himself, he was making the Pelicans scramble to grab the ball and sometimes lose it anyways to another Kings player.  His physical defense in the fourth kept the Pelicans from getting the ball to Davis (not that the guards were trying that hard) and he generated the little scoring surge in the third that the Kings never gave up, despite Tyreke rumbling to a terrific 27-10-8 line.

Other Observations:

  • Davis’ shot was way off for most of the game.  He missed his first 9 shots – and only two of them were really long jumpers.  The rest were those little 10-footer pull-ups he takes all the time and makes at a good rate.  They kept bouncing around the rim and falling out.  He honestly looked a little tired out there.  Road trip isn’t quite over yet, Anthony.  But hey, he took a gorgeous corner three and stuck it.  That’s good at least.
  • The best moment of the game was when Reggie Evans jab-stepped, dribbled twice, and then shot a pull-up, fadeaway jumper from about 18 feet.  The ball hit the backboard wide left – and the entire Kings team died laughing.  Evans had been playing so well to that point that I don’t think anyone begrudged him that shot, no matter how ridiculous it was.
  • I’m so happy I watch a team that doesn’t have to have it’s announcers talk about how “composed” our star is because he’s not getting technical fouls and is merely exhibiting terrible body language instead of expressing it.  Cousins is so petulant and acts so put upon, yet he was in the midst of drawing 16 free throws.  Whatever
  • Withey’s defense is game-changing.  The Pelicans couldn’t get anything stopped near the rim until he came in.  Then the Kings proceeded to miss shot after shot at the rim.  If he can manage to get his hands on more boards, he could be an excellent backup center.
  • I can’t say enough about Tyreke.  He was attacking all night and even managed to knock down a pair of threes.  The Pelicans just needed one other player to get going – and neither Davis nor Gordon were up to the task.  A shame.
  • I love the Elevator Doors play the Pelicans run.   The Pelicans like to run a screen where both bigs set up next to each other in the post and Brian Roberts runs past them like he’s going to curl baseline and go to either the corner or elbow for a pass.  Instead, Roberts reverses course and darts between the two big men, who then take a step towards each other.  That cuts off the path of any defender trailing Roberts, and gives Roberts plenty of time to reach the corner, catch a pass, and have a free look at the deadly corner three.  Happens about once a game.  Watch out for it.
  • Rivers missed a bunch of shots tonight, but at one point he was on the floor with Morrow, Aminu, Stiemsma and Withey.  The Kings put one guy on Morrow and packed the paint.  Rivers still got to the rim, but everything was contested.

Next game is against the Lakers tomorrow night.  Hopefully we can avoid another foul fest.



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