Pelicans out-worked by Kings
I could waste time complaining about the same things we always complain about. It’s getting a bit old, however, and why dwell on why certain guys are getting minutes? Instead, let’s focus on the real reason the Pelicans lost that game: They rarely had more than one rebounder out there – and the Kings were gang-rebounding the ball.
It’s really that simple. The Kings took 7 more shots and five more free throws than the Pelicans – and they had five more turnovers. Essentially, they worked themselves into a 12-attempt advantage in that game. During the fourth, multiple times, we saw the ball hit the floor and no Pelican move to snatch up the loose ball. I could go with the trope “they just wanted it more” or call the Pelicans lazy – but let’s instead go to reality: most of the Pelicans shooters don’t even think about rebounding. And Monty was stuck. His big men hadn’t met a foul they didn’t want to hump, and his shooters shoot but don’t do anything else. He was stretching the floor with Darius Miller, Brian Roberts, Austin Rivers, and Anthony Morrow. Miller and Roberts hold the joint dishonor of being the 12th worst rebounders in the entire league. Rivers is 28th from the bottom. Morrow sits at 57. None of those guys rebound better than 5.5% of total rebounds. That’s right, about 1 out of every 20 rebounds falls to them, when there are 10 guys on the court.
Anyways, the Pelicans compounded their inability to end possession with stupid, stupid fouls when the Kings were in the bonus . . . and they lost by 5. Shocking.
- The Pelicans were trying to ISO Davis a lot in the post. I’m not sure I like that. Let him attack from the elbow – where he has more options to pass, and more room to attack. His post up game just isn’t there yet and the baseline is another defender.
- Cousins tore apart anyone facing him. He had some amazing up and under plays. I want to know, however, why none of our guards or wings attacked him whenever he was bringing the ball up the floor after a rebound. He’s not that good of a ball-handler. Make him spin or crossover, and you’ve got a good chance for a turnover.
- I have to beg to differ with David Wesley on this one: Reggie Evans meant to put his elbow into Anthony Davis. This is a guy who grabbed Chris Kaman’s nuts in a playoff game to get an advantage. He knew he was in danger of being blocked and leapt forward, leading with the elbow. Do I think it was necessarily a flagrant 2? Maybe not – I’m willing to buy that Evans wasn’t trying to connect with Davis’ unibrow – but he definitely was trying to dole out some pain.
- Tyreke was flat out bad tonight. The Kings kept a big ready to contest every time he drove – and never worried about leaving Stiemsma, Ajinca, Withey or Aminu. Monty tried Babbitt for a little while, but after a couple threes that threatened to shatter the backboard, Monty pulled him. Spacing gone, Tyreke neutralized.
- Withey had the same results he did early this season. He gets big minutes and he’s really strong for the first 20 or so – and then he’s winded and finished. Strength Program this off-season, please.
- Rivers got a bunch of assists somehow tonight, but mostly what stuck in my head was him pounding the ball for long moments looking for entry passes. He wasted entire possessions without the ball moving from his hands.
- Without Morrow tonight, the Pelicans were toast. He’s got a little bit of Reggie Miller/Rip Hamilton in him in his ability to move and distract the other team. The Pelicans should make use of that more.
So, that was disappointing. Pelicans visit Denver on Wednesday.
I cannot wait to read that Steismsma has not been signed back by the Pelicans. That will be a glorious day for this Pelicans fan. I'm generally not this mean but he hasn't given us much in terms of production and there's no need to keep him around when we obviously need his salary to hopefully sign a big. Goodbye and I wish you well just not in a Pelicans uniform. The loss was disappointing because I thought this was a winnable game for us. Reggie Evan's behavior wasn't surprising because to be honest that's about all he can offer - brutish play.
The bright side of all of this is...8 games left to see Steismsma in a Pelicans uniform. ..I'm not blaming just him for the lost, but it's so obvious how bad of a fit he is for this team....
I didn't enjoy watching this game either.
But, in the big picture, who would have thought we would have 5 more wins (with 8 games to go) than last year with all of these injuries? Be one win away from a winning record at home? Have a 5 game win streak with all of these current injuries including games against 4 playoff teams?
We are rolling out a team with 2 starters from next year's lineup. So 3 backups are starting and 3 3rd team players are playing backup minutes. (Yes Withey looked good THIS GAME, but he gives up how many pounds to Cousins?)
I think Ryan got it right: "Monty was stuck." No matter which backup C played, they were backups against Cousins. The same Cousins who scored 35 points on 18 shots (and offensive efficiency of 2.0!!!) with 14 boards. To me that is where we lost the game and the numbers back me up; Cousins was +23 and the closest teammate was +15. Cousins was the man tonight.
Most of the deficiencies tonight at C and rebounding (from the guards) should be remedied next season, and we will get 2 starters back from injury. Until then, some nights will suck. It is what it is.
Sorry, gotta disagree about Withey. He was the only big to actually defend against Cousins. He was +19, in a game we lost by 5. He didn't look any more winded than Cousins, Davis, or any of the other players with significant minutes. The man was 4 for 4 from the field and had 5 freaking blocks, and all you can say is that he looked winded? I don't know what game you were looking at.....
I'd love to see someone tally up how many points per minute Cousins scored against each big man who was defending him.
McCallum is the one who really killed us with his 5 contested makes in a row in the 4th. We were climbing back from the routine Stiemsma hole before he went on that tear.
I've supported Monty in general, but his man-crush on Stiemsma is getting beyond annoying. His insistence on starting the same failed lineup every half is maddening. Everyone can see that Stiemsma is going to get crushed and put the other team in the bonus, but he refuses to change. What can be the excuse????????
Evans seems to be getting the Gordon treatment from the refs the last few games. They sucked big tonight in general. The 3 free throws at the end of the first half were a joke, and as usual Cousins was beating people up all night without drawing fouls. At least they got the flagrant 2 correct, but the double technical was a cop-out.
On a lighter note..
I think we may have a winner for "shaqin a fool" for the entire Year in this game..
He plays for the Pelicans and when I saw it, even I bust out laughing..CAN ANYONE GUESS??
I found the stats of Cousins with Withey on/off the court in this last game:
Rivers kind of rolled in there and instigated it from my perspective to be fair to the double T. It was a fun little moment though watching him get in their face.
I have no idea how both Steimsma and Ajinca see the floor before Withey in the 2nd half.
I love how his solution to the starting lineup debacle in SA was switching up Roberts for Morrow. That was obviously the problem. Classic Monty.
It's nights like this where it's painfully obvious that this idiot isn't learning his lessons. He's just a blind squirrel that found a nut in the month of March that coincided with much better bench play. He's even managed to screw up the whole "Tyreke at SF" bit and seems intent on starting Aminu no matter the cost. Roberts/Gordon/Evans/Davis was working. Roberts/Morrow/Evans/Davis was working. God forbid that Aminu and Steimsma are relegated where they belong, on the pine.
The positive thing for Monty was that for once his rotations weren't the worst thing I witnessed all evening, that honor belongs to the How I Met Your Mother finale.
@NOEngineer We have no one else... Although we have 3 Centers plus Jason Smith... What can we do.. We are playing the bench without the guys out injured.. The positive is we have lots to work with next season than we started with.. The Kings played their starters and we were missing 4 guys.. IMPOSSIBLE..
@wilthomas178 AJINCA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...I was thinking the same thing...but wait he's only 7'2 with almost an 8ft wingspan...they had even conceded it...he had to be shocked to see NOBODY between him and the goal and got too excited...tried to jam it down hard and.... well the rest is SHAQ-TASTIC!
Thanks! So, Cousins was -1 in 17 minutes vs Withey, and +24 in 19 minutes when Withey was off the court. Point made. It isn't just bulk, it is technique, desire, and effort.
@HawnitsFanatic @NOEngineer I just know you realize the season is over...and Coach is looking at everyone on the team... Despite substitutions he lookng at players auditioning to remain, get traded or cut... Big time basketball is about getting through the 82 games realizing we lost a spot months ago.. LOL.. why are you raving on Coach losing starters and key scoring off the bench... It's over for the season let's just hope we get a top 5 slot keepng our first round pick...
But that's another 19 or 20 year old... Note this season was a teaching cilnic and last season a high school team... a few not even 20... We have a core.. who is in it...
TBH, it could be a factor of other players in the lineup, as well. The main thing to take away from this stat is the free throws attempted, imo.
The number of FGA Cousins had and the FG% can be kind fluky, but the PFD (personal fouls drawn) really sticks out to me.
@xman20002000 @NOEngineer @HawnitsFanatic That is what worries me: that Monty and Dell see some "little things" that Stiemsma does as valuable, despite statistical evidence and the eye test all lining up on the other side.
In my opinion his lack of speed, quickness, hands, and leaping ability all define his ceiling as low. That, coupled with poor numbers this season should be more than enough to part ways. But, it should also have been enough to relegate him to the bench by now, and it hasn't happened. So, my confidence is not high.....
@xman20002000 @HawnitsFanatic @NOEngineer If you think we need more evaluation of Stiemsma against starters than we do of Babbitt and Withey and Ajinca, then you are sharing the same delusion as Monty. If the coach is expecting players to do their best, then he should too. I'm still the buyer of season tickets, and since the "top 5 pick" is beyond our ability to affect, any talk of losing on purpose should be gone by now. So, pardon me if I'd like to see one of our few remaining winnable games won while also accomplishing useful things related to next year. In other words, no I don't realize the season is over....
We can take two things with us from this lost season into next: more experienced returning players and coaches, and an improved knowledge about our current players. I already know all I need to know about everyone on this team except Miller, Withey, Babbitt, and Rivers. Anyone else who is not part of the plan for next year should ride the bench until needed for foul or injury replacement. That list includes Gordon and Stiemsma right now at a minimum.
I would have less of a problem resting Davis and Evans since I think both have bad ankles right now. Start the above 4 guys with Morrow if you want to evaluate them against starters, and bring the rest of the guys off the bench. Sort of sounds like our most productive lineup from last night, so see if they can keep it up against starter level competition.....