Game On: Pelicans @ Nuggets
The Pelicans kick off a 3 game road trip tonight against the Nuggets in the altitude of Denver. Not quite the same team as last season under then-coach George Karl, these new Brian Shaw Nuggets still play with the same frenetic pace, ranking 3rd in the league.
Maybe indicated by their identical 32-42 records, or the fact that I’m no soothsayer, I have zero idea what will happen in this game. Will we see the Pelicans’ team from the past two losses? With the lack of off ball movement and proper spacing killing the offense? Or will we see the streaking team led by Anthony Davis that looked like it could be absolutely terrifying if fully healthy?
Regardless of which team shows up, Davis should be in line for a big game. JaVale McGee is out for the season and the front court of Timofey Mozgov, JJ Hickson and Kenneth Faried doesn’t exactly instill fear defensively. Davis will be able to attack in a variety of ways tonight. Look for Monty to get him the ball early to get a groove going.
As for the shooters, well, if they can hit a few 3’s early on it should open up tons of room for Tyreke Evans to bounce back from his disappointing game on Monday. Teams have simply been keeping a big man down low to clog up the lane. Monty can counter by using Babbitt to pull that defender closer to the three-point line.
On a bit of a flip side from that, I’d also like to see Monty attempt to dictate the matchups. Faried could be tough for Davis to guard, and keeping the Brow on another big might be more ideal. This would allow some small ball 4 minutes for Aminu. If you follow me on twitter you know I don’t like him in that position, but Monty might want to give him some time to defend the 6-8 Faried.
Or maybe we will still see a ton of Greg Stiemsma, and I’ll pull my hair out.
If Monty starts Steimsma/Aminu/Davis/Evans/Roberts again I'm going to blow a gasket. OK, well that's grossly exaggerating because nothing that idiot does surprises me anymore. There was a lot of positives from Steimsma's game vs. Sacramento, so maybe I'm overreacting here.
The game starts around 8. I would recommend everyone act as if it doesn't start until 8:25 when our reserves start shuffling in. Rinse, repeat in the 2nd half. An infinitely more enjoyable experience rooting for us to come back instead of witnessing how we got there.
@6thMan I don't think he has the bulk to handle some of the bruisier 4's. David West would eat him for lunch. Sure he has the height for it but...just no. 82games.com has opposing power forwards posting a 24.8 PER against him when he plays that position. That site isn't the best in terms of figuring out position time, but that's still a damning stat. And offensively? Well, should he really be anywhere offensively?
Can't argue with the 24.8 PER; still I attend nearly every home game and see a team that touts 2 incredibly weak defensive rebounders as Jason Smith & Ryno @ the 5 & 4. Then teams like Kings & Raptors kill us on the defensive glass, with AD & Aminu our only defensive rebounders period - an area where losing Vasquez hurts. Quite a few folks have noted thst our FA signing this summer may come down to Smith vs a still 23-yr-old Aminu. For my money it's Smith who is the sf, or at least rebounds like one.