Observations: Pelicans at Nuggets

Published: November 21, 2014

The Pelicans did something new every quarter tonight.  Each quarter, they lost in a slightly different way.  In the first, after racing out to a quick lead, they decided they wanted to turn the ball over more than they ever had.  In the second, the deployed an offense that consisted of pick and rolls that got Ryan Anderson the ball 20 feet or more from the basket, guarded.  Those ended fairly badly.  In the third, they decided that layups would be helpful – for the other team.  And in the fourth?  Other than a couple shots each by Ajinca and Davis, they took nothing from closer than 18 feet.  That’ll help.

Non-Bitter Observations:

  • Jrue Holiday was brilliant defensively for most of the game, anticipating Ty Lawson and hounding him all over the floor.  The one time Lawson beat him on a iso cross-over Jrue calmly trailed and spiked his shot.
  • There was a lot of lucky stupid stuff going Denver’s way – but the Pelicans never really came out and made a run either.  I kept expecting them to try to lock down on defense and make a run, but they never really stopped the Nuggets from getting to the middle of the floor.
  • John Salmons was awful.  He hit his two shots, but his defense was so late and so slow-footed he deserved every moment of his -18 plus-minus.
  • The Nuggets were very good at containing Rivers tonight.  Typically Austin can get separation with his excellent ball handling – but the Nuggets kept fading back and not buying his fakes.  It’s a lot of why the Pelicans couldn’t get good shots with that second unit and kept having Ryan Anderson trying to bail them out with fade-away mid range shots over tight contests.  If Rivers can’t get into the paint, he’s a ball-pounding liability.
  • Danilo Galinari has been awful all season.  Awful.  The Pelicans clearly came into the game thinking they’d let him take shots as a result.  And he buried them.  17 points on 7 shots.  Yikes.
  • The Pelicans seemed to fall down a lot.  It put them in a lot of bad situations defensively against a running Nuggets team.

Lets hope they can bounce back against the feisty Jazz tomorrow night.  This conference is ridiculously hard.  The Jazz and Nuggets are in the bottom five of the conference, and are still 5-7.  Crazy.


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