New Series: Glory Days

Published: May 15, 2014

Ah, remember the glory days? Way back in December of 2013 and early January of 2014, the Pelicans had a handful of games in which their core players were actually healthy, and that team was getting pretty good. Flash forward just four months, though, and seemingly nobody remembers this magical time in the franchise’s history. Its a phenomenon that is not uncommon. Ask somebody about the film ‘The Usual Suspects’ and they will tell you it is terrific. Really, was it? Was it?

It was an average movie with a fantastic ending, but that ending was enough to make up for all the mundane scenes that come before it, propelling it to greatness in the minds of many. For the Pelicans, the terrible end to the season has clouded peoples’ overall opinion on a season that was quite promising at one point. So I want to go back. I want to see if Monty’s rotations were terrible when he had good toys to play with. I want to see how Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis worked together. I want to see how Evans played coming off the bench with Ryno next to him. I want to see a closer representation of what this team will be next year before I claim that Monty is or isn’t the right man to coach it. Before I definitively say which free agents do or do not fit.

Because the truth is that none of us remember. We remember our anger of seeing Monty playing Greg Stiemsma over Luke Babbitt, but was he playing him in key situations over Ryno? If not, should we maybe cut the guy a break? We also don’t remember what the Pelicans looked like when they played with consistent pace. Before the injuries occurred, this team was top 10 in pace; You didn’t remember that did you? How about the defense – was it getting better or is there a major problem with these core players that needs to be addressed?

I don’t remember, and likely neither do you. So I am going back in time. I am going to watch every single game from those glory days and recap them here as if the game had happened that night. I will look at the good, the bad, and the ugly, but it will be different this time because the scope will be much wider. When you recap a game on the night it happens, you sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture. That won’t be the case here.

I will look at the games that truly mattered from this season and dissecting the players that truly matter, while grading Monty in the situation that Dell had set up for him this offseason. Because, does it really matter for the future if Monty chose Stiemsma over Babbitt and Roberts over Rivers if Holiday and Ryno are getting those minutes if healthy? The further I get away from the season, the more I think we were all overreacting a little to those decisions that will prove meaningless moving forward.

But if Monty was making similar head scratching decisions when he had all those great weapons at his disposal, then maybe there is a larger issue here after all. If Davis and Anderson were a mess on the defensive end, and never improved, then maybe Anderson isn’t the ideal player to put next to him. So, I invite you to take this journey with me as I revisit the glory days. Feel free to leave comments on other things you want me to watch for and/or take notice of and I will do that. Stay tuned, because coming up first in our series, we get the Return of Ryno – as the Pelicans obliterate the 76ers 135-98.

Ah, those were the days.


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