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The Pelicans beat the Bucks
When the season starts winding to an end, offensive efficiency improves across the board as teams fall out of the race and stop playing hard defensively. Though there were definite spurts where both teams played a little defense tonight, in general both teams didn’t push too hard.
(Well, except for OJ Mayo, who pushed way too hard defensively(forearm shiver) and was ejected in the second.)
One thing was obvious, however. Anthony Davis was head and shoulders above everybody else on the court. There was just a sense of swagger tonight that Anthony brought. He’s always looked awkward out there – and on some of his drives he still looked awkward – but mostly he just looked smooth and natural. His shots were free off the catch, but he never just took it. He’d jab step, or rise and shoot, or hesitation dribble on the way to the rim, or catch and launch a hook shot. It was fantastic, as Anthony scored in a different way on his first seven baskets. He’s already a versatile offensive force, and he’s just 20. I’m giddy.
- OJ Mayo has gone so quickly from contributor on a good team to fat, out of shape, and irrelevant. He didn’t look like a basketball player out there, and the screen Stiemsma set wasn’t any different than screens set on every other play in the NBA. I think Mayo just wanted an early night off, so delivered the forearm shiver at the first opportunity.
- How sad must it be for Bucks fans that their best player was an afterthought throw in to a trade – and an undersize tweener. Jeff Adrien did to the Pelicans what Reggie Evans did to them a few nights before. Other than Withey, the Pels centers have no impactful hustle.
- Evans was unstoppable going to the rim as usual. Good for him. There are a lot of dumb people out there who read his gross numbers and chortle at his demise. Tyreke ain’t dead yet, my friends. If he is in the right situation, he’s still a terror.
- Henson never used to post up like that in college. He did a good job of scoring on Davis tonight off hooks and scoops. His long arms makes it hard for even a freak like Davis to contest his shots.
- Morrow hunted his shot tonight. When run off the three point line, he was shooting regardless, and kept finding open spots to shoot from. He finished with 16 points in 16 minutes.
- Gordon got into the flow in the first half, though he missed a couple nice looks. His two cuts to the basket for layups from big men with time running down were great – though he was guarded both times by OJ Mayo, so . . .
Anthony Davis’s dunk was sick. Sick!
I think Roberts' run in the 3rd quarter, especially to start it, and Morrow's assists (all to Davis?), were both worth mentioning. Would love to see us re-sign Morrow for at least next season.
Good team win last night......I hope we can build on the last two games as the schedule gets tougher .It'll be interesting to see if Monty continues to coach with his eyes instead of his heart...if he does, we may be able to steal a few games from a few playoff teams.....Don't be surprised if Jeff Adrien is a Pelican next season or a player with his skill set. I thought Rivers struggled again because of his mindset....he is hell bent on scoring...instead of letting the game come to him...Playing good defense and getting other guys involved should be his calling card when he is running the point...
We're witnessing something really sad right now, which is Austin Rivers' reversion back to his old 2012-13 season self. Despite a lot of minutes last night against the Bucks, he was tentative running the point. He seems to have no confidence when the Pelicans have the ball and doesn't appear to see the court well during New Orleans' half court offense. He had zero assists until the 4th quarter, but then he recorded three quick assists that were all outside shots: a 3 pointer and a long jumper to AMo and a 3 pointer to Aminu(!). Though Brian Roberts will never be a favorite among Pels fans, last night's performance by Rivers shows why Roberts ends up -- pretty much by default -- getting a lot of playing time. Austin's lack of progress this late in his second year of professional basketball may eventually require Dell Demps and Monty Williams to admit they made a mistake in drafting him and move on.
New starting lineup please: Rivers, Evans, Morrow, Davis, Withey. Maybe we can avoid putting the other team in the bonus immediately.
Austin Rivers was really horrible in the first half, but in the second he started doing some things right. I like his on-the-ball defensive intensity enough to forgive his general off-the-ball ineptitude. He really needs to start getting back on defense since he obviously is not offensive rebounding. He got burned on several fast breaks in a row in the 2nd quarter.
For some reason, we do not play above the rim now. I can only remember 1 successful lob in the past few games, to Withey. Davis certainly has the capability to finish up there, as does Ajinca. The only dunks we attempt now seem to be putbacks after misses by Tyreke or Austin.
I love Morrow's intensity on offense. Unlike Rivers he is standing after a make, and watching his fire is a great contrast to Evans and Gordon. I want him back next year, along with Davis, Evans, Withey, Anderson, Babbit and Holliday. Apathetic or worse about everyone else......
I loved when Davis faked a 3. Everyone in the SKC wanted him to take the shot. Quite the opposite reaction to the Aminu 3 attempts. Aminu had a stretch of really bad shot selection that should have resulted in pine time.
My family will be enjoying some Papa John's pizza today, with an excellent discount. Maybe some fries too. Both of the basketball food groups!