FIN (Pelicans beat Rockets)

Published: April 17, 2014

It was a fun game for a season wrap.  While the Rockets organization weren’t taking the game that serious (Dwight Howard chucked a three?) their scrubs were taking it as seriously as the Pelicans scrubs were taking it.  Most of those guys were playing to try to leave some sort of impression out there.

In the end, it was a game of contrasting styles – which I found entertaining.  The Rockets were jacking up every long range bomb they could.  The Pelicans were driving relentlessly to the basket – usually after faking a three.  The result were a lot of made threes for the Rockets (14-30 shooting.  sheesh) and lots of baskets at the rim for the Pelicans – or kickout/dumpoff assists.  Evans could get wherever he wanted at any time in the game – doing frequent 1 on 3 fast breaks where the 3 didn’t have a chance to stop him – or driving into packed space and simply bullying his way to the rim.  Dude is solid.

Everybody the Pelicans ran out there seemed to contribute a little.  Observations!

  • Roberts got 4 minutes and 4 free throws – enabling him to lock up the statistical free throw crown this season.  He’s in the record books now.  Good job, Roberts.  You deserve it.
  • For about 12 minutes tonight the Pelicans center was Al Farouq Aminu.  Since the Rockets center was Josh Powell or Montiejunas, it didn’t matter that much.  Montiejunas did get a bunch of offensive rebounds, something he normally doesn’t, but the Pelicans still stretched the lead during that time.
  • I loved that Dwight Howard shot a three and McHale immediately pulled him.
  • Austin took three mid-range jumpers tonight, shocking everyone.  Really.  Jumpers, not floaters.  He stuck two of them.
  • Keeping with Austin, his catch and shoot remains deadly.  He ended up losing the catch and shoot 3-point crown to Eric Gordon in the end, but not by much.  Eric Gordon hit catch and shoot threes at 45.7% this year.  Rivers hit them at 45.5%.  That ranks 11th in the entire league amonst players who attempted at least 1 catch and shoot three per game.
  • Withey’s help defense in the paint remains excellent.  He had a real impact out there tonight when the Rockets forgot to shoot when they reached the three point line.
  • Look – I wasn’t Stiemsma’s biggest fan . . . but why did the team release him and bring in Ely?  Couldn’t they have just left him on the bench or something?  Did he poop in Monty’s desk drawer? I’m just a little confused why they booted him before season end – and then replaced him with a veteran retread and not even a youngster.   Perhaps they are trying to scratch Melvin Ely’s agent’s back?  It’s Dan Fegan.  Anyone like anyone on this list as a Pelican next year?  I’m not that excited by the names.  Those that could be had, that is.
  • Apparently, per Jen Hale the Pelicans want Morrow back.  That’s good.  I was assuming she was going to Hale bomb me and tell me they thought Morrow was too caught up in this whole new-fangled “shooting thing” and were no longer interested.
  • Darius Miller had moments again – but then you look at the statline and you can’t help cringe.  He had 9 points on 7 shots, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals.  In 34 minutes.  16-20 minutes?  good deal.  34?  Yikes.
  • Anyone who thinks Evans isn’t worth his contract has their head up their butt.

Thanks to all of you who have been reading over this long, long season.  Knowing you are out there and interested validates the effort we make here, and it makes me smile.

Thanks everyone.


  1. Sportnlyfe

    April 17, 2014 at 1:25 am

    Thank you, Ryan. It’s been a long and eventful season. Your posts helped make the team’s growing pains easier to watch.

  2. bigfanfromaus

    April 17, 2014 at 4:45 am

    Thanks for all the work you boys do

  3. thouse

    April 17, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Ryan, google Mark Deeks for why they dumped Stiemsma and signed Melvin Ely. Basically, Demps gave himself a $1.5M trade chip for this summer while paying roughly $20,000 for Ely.
    Thank you to all the guys here for all of the work you did this year. Not much fun writing about this, but we appreciate your efforts and are glad you do it

  4. bradlaborde

    April 17, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Thanks for all the hard work this season, BSS.  Cheers to better days to come!
    The outcomes of the last 2 games were an unexpected treat.  At this point, we know Monty can get the most out of lower tier players.  I hope we get to see how he performs with some true expectations and the roster Dell built for him next year.  I think our answer will come sooner than later.  If the next pelicans regular season game features a starting backcourt of Jrue and Evans, Monty gets it and sky is the limit.  If Reke goes back to the 6th man role which clearly didn’t fit him, it will be a long year.  It’s really that simple.

  5. PelicanSaints

    April 17, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Well…..Chandler Parsons,Larry Sanders jump out to me. …..The Steismsma move will help financially going into the off season. ….

  6. SamuelWhoDatWilcher

    April 17, 2014 at 9:35 am

    i have to say thanks to all the writers on this site.  You guys are the best area for Pelicans coverage.  You all have me respect for the in depth analysis and broad perspective..  I also want to thank the Team for solid effort especially winning our final home games.  Congrats to AD for the Shot Blocks title and Brain Roberts for the FT title.  Thanks to Anthony Morrow for clutch 3’s and super spirit.  We all want you back, please don’t try to brake the bank.  Monty this off season is super big for you.  We need you to step your game up and trust Tyreke and Jhrue to handle more pace.  Dell please find us a swing man that can shoot and defend.  Al Fariuq is not our answer.  He can be a small ball 4 but needs to stay away from the perimeter.  Tom Benson would please ensure we have a new orleans style band in the Smoothie King Arena next season.  We have a very special thing in new orleans and need to promote that.  Next stop free agency!

  7. Michael McNamara

    April 17, 2014 at 9:51 am

    thouse  Exactly. Geez, do your homework Schwan!

  8. Steven J

    April 17, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Awesome game, love that we have more than one player on a team that can take over on any given night. I think Tyreke’s great finish to the year overshadowed Austin Rivers. This is the Rivers that fans have been waiting for the past couple years. Seriously, you guys should do an article comparing him from the second half of the season to last year. Completely different guy… looks like he’s gaining confidence. As for free agency, I know everyone likes to make a splash, but I honestly would be ok with not making too many moves. This team has shown that it can keep up with power house teams with half a roster, so I’d like to see what we can do when healthy first. I may be overdoing it, but I think if Withey and Ajinca improve next year that they may be able to hold down the center position for us. Especially with AD helping out. We def need a SF now or later though, can’t get around that.

  9. JdDub

    April 17, 2014 at 10:36 am

    I had pretty much given up on Miller but these last few games as a starter he has impressed me. Especially the 2 games againts OKC. Im starting to have hope he can become our 3 and D sf next year. If he is able to improve a little in every aspect of his game I think he could win the starting job. He is already a decent 3 pt shooters if he adds a little more arc to his 3 ball hed be even better. He is a good passer and has already proved capable of playing a little pg. He can essentially play positions 1 2 3 and some 4. And he moves his feet well on D. Im hoping he can be our 3 and D sf so this off season we can concentrate on moving Gordon and getting a Quallity Center to put next to AD. Mabey we stretch Gordon and trade him and Pierre Jackson to Houston for Omer Asik and Jordan Hamilton.

  10. BumblebeePelican

    April 17, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Thanks for all of the information! I tell people all the time to check y’all out.

  11. Steven J

    April 17, 2014 at 11:03 am

    JdDub  I hope Miller can do that too. But I doubt Houston would give up any one of those guys for Pierre and Gordon, better yet both of them.

  12. Kempleton

    April 17, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    The future of this team is very bright!
    We already have a 21-year old All-Star! He is a rising superstar! Leading the league in blocks per game, #10 in total rebounds, #12 in total and offensive rebounds per game, #15 in points per game, #21 in FG%, #11 in FTA and  #12 in FTM with 79%, #13 in double doubles.
    Suppose that he has room to grow and improve. Sky is the limit! VEry promising. It is fun to watch him. Great teammate. Great leader at this young age. So lucky to have him here. We love ya AD! 🙂
    We have players leading the NBA in multiple categories (Davis in blocks , Roberts in FT%, as well as Morrow in 3rd place in 3PT%)
    We have players with proven abilities. Holiday was an all-star last year.  Evans was a rookie of the year. Anderson won the MIP before.

    Most of our starting lineup has been injured for a while. (Holiday, Anderson, Smith, Gordon, Davis) and I love what our second unit is doing on the floor. Evans has been great, He deserves to be a starter on this team. Rivers showed that he works a lot to improve. Think about a minute about the potential of Rivers growing to become a player similar to Tony Parker. A long shot but I said similar(!). 🙂 He can already attack the rim at will, He has shown improvement on his jumper lately. He can be a deadly weapon off the bench! Roberts-Rivers-Morrow-Smith-Ajinca + Aminu. This is a good second unit. Rivers stays for sure. We’ll see which one of the others will remain as Pelicans.
    I hear some complaining about not making the playoffs, well this was only the 2nd year of Davis. Just a small comparison: Kevin Durant was not in playoff’s until his 3rd year. If I remember correctly, OKC got the 8th seed in his 3rd year and got eliminated to Lakers, then they moved to 4th or 5th seed in Durant’s 4th year. And they have been top3 since then. [Please check OKC website for accuracy. :)]
    Well anyways, this was a fun season to watch. I was hoping that we were going to push for the playoffs and fight for the 8th spot but too many injures from the very beginning (Anderson and Evans started the season injured) to the end of the season hurt us. Too bad we could not have a healthy season, otherwise the core of this team (Holiday-Gordon-Tyreke-Anderson-Davis) would/could get used to playing with each oither and could be much stronger next season.
    We also see Monty Williams growing with this team. With a healty squad we should be able to see his true identity in leading a championship team.
    Here is what Ryno tweeted after the Rockets win:
    “We will come back stronger than ever!”
    I expect 14-15 season to be the beginning of a Pelicans era becoming a contender in this league!

  13. mojart

    April 17, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Get healthy this offseason..maybe they should evaluate their conditioning coach this offseason.
    Keeper-morrow, babbitt, ajinca, withey, miller maybe roberts but I love to see what pierre can do in the nba if he is not traded.
    Love to see the pels go after oden again or arron gray or reggie evans and get that SF that can knock 3s and play good defense.
    Byebye aminu, ely and steamer who is gone already….future is bright….we need to at least win 50 games next season in this tough western conference to make the playoffs which is not a long shot just stay healthy of course

  14. champsworld504

    April 18, 2014 at 12:25 am

    Thanks for an entertaining season and fun interactions.

  15. Kempleton

    April 18, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    Sorry I forgot Withey and Miller and the list of second unit players… Especially Withey might be an essential member of this team going forward…

  16. Nithenz

    April 18, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    Too bad this is over…I always hate when our season is over. Will miss the games, the players, reading Hornets stuff (Yup, Hornets, old school here, international fan, i will go on with Horets untill the Bobcats officially have the name and get all weird…) and specially this great site. Sad this is over, but guess some time off is what the Dr order to this team. Guess we cant go anywhere but up. This season was once in a lifetime kind of season with all the injuries to all the starters had. Cant think other team with so many injuries to their core players in a single season. Thanks guys for all the hard work you put in here, Bigger, Better and Brower website for Hornets fans in the world!

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