Pelicans Snap 8 Game Skid with 132-125 Road Victory over Lakers

Published: March 5, 2014

First things first – this victory was by no means a pretty one. The Pelicans were in complete control halfway through the third quarter, up by 19 and getting to the rim at will. However, the defense slipped from that point forward and the Lakers made this game much closer than it should have been. In the end, though, New Orleans did enough to hang on and rid themselves of a frustrating eight game losing streak, notching their first win since the All-Star break.

Before we discuss the ugliness that was the Pelicans letting the Lakers back into this game, let’s look at the good things that happened tonight. From start to finish, nearly every New Orleans perimeter player attacked the rim with regularity. Their shot chart does a good job of painting that picture:

pelicans shot chart


The Pelicans shot a scintillating 70% at the rim, with the starting back court trio of Roberts, Gordon, and Evans combining for 71 points on 40 shots. That’s 1.75 points per field goal attempt, folks. Sure, the Lakers’ interior defense is a total joke, but New Orleans could have easily played overly passive and failed to truly capitalize on this deficiency for Los Angeles. Props to the guards for not letting up (including Rivers), and particularly for Evans who continues to play great as a starter. Of course, then we get to Anthony Davis, who wreaked absolute havoc on offense as well as on the glass all game long. He finished with 28 points on 16 attempts to go along with 15 rebounds, 3 assists, a block, and a turnover. As a team, the Pelicans attempted 40 free throws tonight and made 33 of them, which was huge in hanging on for the victory.

Now, the bad news. The Lakers – a team whose five most heavily used players tonight were Kent Bazemore, Pau Gasol, Jodie Meeks, Wesley Johnson, & Jordan Farmar – scored 74 points in the second half. That total is simply inexcusable. The Lakers out-rebounded the Pelicans 17-16 in the second half, which is pretty embarrassing given how bad Los Angeles is at collecting missed shots. The result was a 36-20 second half advantage in points in the paint for the Lakers, another category that should not have been particularly close. The Lakers scored 13 fast break points in the half compared with 0 for the Pelicans. Even though the Lakers utilize Gasol as their only big man on the court for many stretches, the Pelicans for the most part refused to do the same with Davis, repeatedly throwing immobile guys like Ajinca and Stiemsma out there. Hard to believe that better second half player rotations for the Pelicans wouldn’t have kept the Lakers from getting back into the game (that or giving Anthony Davis more than one field goal attempt in the 4th quarter apart from shots after his own offensive rebounds).

The Pelicans return home on Friday night to take on the team with the worst record in the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks. Get your tickets now to see if New Orleans can win two consecutive games for the first time in a month.


  1. Jason Quigley

    March 5, 2014 at 1:11 am

    That was the most negative/pessimistic recap of a win I think I’ve seen on this site…

  2. mojart

    March 5, 2014 at 1:22 am

    im not surprised of the results…..i hope it saves monty’s job…

  3. PelicanSaints

    March 5, 2014 at 8:16 am

    During pregame, it was reported that B.Roberts gathered the troops for a pep talk….Well guys, if anyone was wondering I think this is the leader of this team…and it makes sense…older,well traveled and he’s the point guard…….so, what does this mean going forward ? hopefully more wins and also for next years bench players….will Pierre Jackson or Austin Rivers be here next seasons ?..Also it was great to see Whitey get some good run last night………It’ll be interesting down the stretch to see who plays more, which may give an insight to who’ll be back next year….Right now I think Miller,Stemsma,Babbit and Aminu are on the outside…Aminu probably has a better chance to return,but only at the veteran min………..

  4. Caffeinedisaster

    March 5, 2014 at 9:16 am

    Jason Quigley  I can understand the negativity.
    We were destroying them in the 1st half and then they made an enormous run in the 2nd half that almost won the game.
    I know we’ve got injuries, but we shouldn’t give up that kind of lead against the worst team in the west.

  5. bradlaborde

    March 5, 2014 at 9:19 am

    Hey, Monty finally beat the Lakers.  You go Monty!!!

  6. HawnitsFanatic

    March 5, 2014 at 9:21 am

    PelicanSaints  I kept wanting to throw up every time they mentioned his post-game speech last night. Now we know why he gets so many minutes at least. He’s probably figured out the whole ra-ra Monty thing to a tee.
    He’s not the leader though. That is unquestionably Anthony Davis.

  7. PelicanSaints

    March 5, 2014 at 11:12 am

    HawnitsFanatic PelicanSaintsI disagree…AD is the best player and will probably be the leader sooner that later…..If you Listened to AD after the game…He said that his teammates told him to step his game up……..

  8. JannyMeza

    March 5, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I’ll be there on Friday at the Blender. God save the Pelicans.

  9. Jason Quigley

    March 5, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I don’t even know if we have a leader but its not Davis. Not yet, at least, but he will be as you said. But if our leader is Brian Roberts? God save us…

  10. Jason Quigley

    March 5, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Well yeah, obviously in a game where the opposing team scores 125 points, something has to be said about the defense that was played (or rather…the defense that WASN’T played), but a win is a win. 
    “First things first – this victory was by no means a pretty one.”First things first…we won. No mention of Withey anywhere. I understand it was a tired recap but man…

  11. 504ever

    March 5, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Jason Quigley
    To me it’s just part of a “fire Monty” mentality.  Focus on the negative, and complain about the coaching without suggesting any reasons why the coaching decision made sense.  (Ajinca and Stiemsma need minutes to be evaluated in this no playoffs season, especially minutes to practice against quicker players.)

  12. Jason Calmes

    March 5, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Entre nous, I feel like post-game work needs work.
    Readers, tell me in general terms what you want to see from us after a game given that other sources will produces standard recaps.
    Some of the beef below seems to be about giving praise and blame. Personally, I don’t care about that, but I want to know if that is what you want.

  13. dxxpxx

    March 5, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Withey with 2 of the team’s best dunks of the season

  14. SamuelWhoDatWilcher

    March 5, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    Jason Calmes I have very happy with your analysis of the games.  I want you guys to give us the Real Breakdown of what we see.    I think is very important for you to be critical as a journalist and not a fan.  I love monty as my coach but it does not help the team if we can’t be critical.  Same goes for Dell.   I am very thankful for your work and how fast you get the game re-caped.  I also read and and you guys are the best for sure.

  15. MasonGinsberg

    March 5, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    504ever Jason Quigley  if that’s the case, then Darius Miller should be getting minutes too, no? Then it becomes a question of why Monty is playing certain guys. If it’s to win, GS/AA shouldn’t be on the court. if it’s to evaluate players for the future, Miller should be, and other guys should potentially be getting more minutes than they are at present.

  16. Jason Calmes

    March 6, 2014 at 1:16 am

    Ajinca and Stiemsma get minutes because of their skill sets, nots their overall aptitude or their facility with that skill set.

  17. Jason Calmes

    March 6, 2014 at 1:20 am

    I appreciate the response. I will say that I coukd not care less if the post-game is not up until late morning. Quality beats speed here.
    I think the real breakdown is the key part here. Why did this happen? How did this happen? What about his says something about the future?
    Many things often discussed are so transient…

  18. Come On Pelican

    March 6, 2014 at 3:09 am

    There’s a big difference between giving Stiemsma and Ajinca minutes and giving Darius Miller minutes at this point in the season. There’s good reason to believe that either Stiemsma or Ajinca will be gone next season, possibly both of them. There’s also a need to give them minutes so Monty Williams and Dell Demps can decide who to keep. Right now the Pelicans have 3 moderately capable backup centers on the roster. Next season, one, perhaps 2, of the team’s current centers will be gone. Coach and Mr. Demps need to try to learn a lot of things about their current centers to help them make the right decision. Demps and Williams know they have only one more guaranteed season with the Pelicans, and they both know they’d better start producing more wins next season and getting butts in the seats at the Blender (I like JannyMeza’s new name for the Arena above – kudos!). In the grand scheme of things, though it would be nice in a perfect world to see Miller get more minutes, that’s simply a luxury that’s not in the cards right now.

  19. kibner

    March 6, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Jason Calmes  I like recaps that retell the story of the game first, with little use of numbers. Then, a stat round-up at the end for guys who played at least 10 minutes or were somehow notable.
    I think the recaps should be like a review, basically. Sometimes I am unable to view the games and read the recaps to find out how they went so I hit up a bunch of sites to get a picture of how it went (preferably from a Pels perspective).
    In games that cause emotions to run high, I often check out the opposing team’s viewpoint of the game to see if they thought similar things as Pelican fans.
    I am fine with a recap not going up until a day after. I think the timing of it coming up at the same time as the preview for a game on the back end of a back-to-back works great.

  20. pelicanfan

    March 6, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Jason Calmes 504ever point “To me it’s just part of a “fire Monty” mentality.” and Quigley’s “”First things first – this victory was by no means a pretty one.”First things first…we won.” resonate the most with me. From many sources, I read and hear a wide range of fans views on the team, from hate to frustration to we’ll see to optimism. Probably the writers on this very excellent site view the team across this spectrum (not the hate) as well, maybe coming through in their writings? (I’m in the optimism camp)

  21. kidjock

    March 6, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Jason Calmes  I agree with Sam, I would love to see breakdowns of common sets used both offensively and defensively with video

  22. GerryV

    March 6, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Pts per game etc does not equal leadership.Leadership requires a special personality.A leader is willing to speak up and make a case… it would help if the leader was indeed the alpha-dog on the team and one of its best players ( Magic Johnson or Jordan)…right now its leadership by oppourtunity… differs from week to week…a real leader  ( a player who has earned his bones and perofrms accordingly) when he speaks,everyone stops what they’re doing and listen…the Pelicans are not there yet… they improve and get a taste of what winning and a playoff atmosphere is all about the leader will emerge…..its a bond that grows from respect and demands.

  23. GerryV

    March 6, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Yes!!!! My Basketball Bible!!! WHY & HOW!!!!..bless you my son!

  24. GerryV

    March 6, 2014 at 11:44 am

    I would be doing game breakdowns with great frequencty,but my schedule and hrs limit me..i watch mostly all the games …some the next day…2:30am wake ups and my TV work,,stretches my day…fell free to send questions if you need to..

  25. Jason Calmes

    March 6, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    kidjock Jason Calmes  I think this is nice to want. I’m not sure how often this is going to happen on a game by game basis. We had posts that did this more piecemeal, but that hasn’t been done for most of the season. Keep the feedback coming.

  26. Jason Calmes

    March 6, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    GerryV  I wouldn’t be doing that, but I think we’d all be doing more if we did this full-time or made a dime doing it. 
    We try.

  27. 504ever

    March 6, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    I am not sure Miller is in the Pelicans’ future anymore.  He gets zero minutes when Evans getting starters minutes at SF.  Before that Babbitt, who the Pelicans have a team option on for next year, consistently got more minutes than Miller.

  28. Jason Calmes

    March 6, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    504ever MasonGinsberg  You noticed that, too, eh?

  29. 504ever

    March 6, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Jason Calmes 504everMasonGinsberg I think everyone noticed that, and that Babbitt played well at multiple positions.

  30. Jason Calmes

    March 6, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    Nah, not that. I just didn’t see much about it before. I am not certain Miller is toast. It will depend one the moves. Morrow bolting may help is cause. I think they know what they have. I do not think they know his future as confidence is an issue and perhaps Babbitt was not on scouting reports.

  31. Caffeinedisaster

    March 7, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Jason Quigley  Withey was great.  He obviously had a chip on his shoulder from the last time he was in L.A.  I hope he continues to play like that and develops that toughness that we need.

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