Observations: Pelicans Win At Home Against Cleveland

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Published: December 12, 2014

With 5:30 left in the 1st quarter Anthony Davis checked out of the game and did not return. It’s unclear what exactly caused the issue with the official word being that he suffered a chest contusion.

There’s been a lot of commentary recently that without Anthony Davis the Pelicans have a hard time playing well. When he’s off the court the Pelicans’ offensive rating dips to a paltry 100.9 among a variety of other metrics.

Tonight New Orleans had a tough task with Lebron James on fire. There was a sequence in the third quarter where Lebron hit every jumper. Babbitt, trying to take away the drive, gave him the room needed to step into his shot. It was quite awesome to watch because at the other end Tyreke Evans, Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday were taking the Cavs to task.

And that really is the story tonight. Lebron threw everything at the Pelicans, but whatever he was doing offensively the Pels were doing as a team at the other end. Everyone must commend the energy New Orleans brought in Davis’ absence. Evans, Anderson and Holiday did a tremendous job of doing everything they could to get the win. That’s what made tonight so much fun, was watching these role players excel without the best player available.

As the game moved to the final period it did start off well. New Orleans seemed to have things in control before a mini Cavs run made things uneasy. However a Luke Babbitt three from the top sealed the win and gave the fans something to be happy about. NOLA is now back to .500, now sitting at 11-11.

Observations:

  • Tyreke Evans was an absolute bully tonight. Jen Hale asked what Coach Williams said to him post game and all he could say that it involved violence, so he couldn’t elaborate. Well, Evans was taking it to the Cavs tonight and was violating the common decency of Cleveland. He was finishing around the basket, finding team-mates and playing in control for most of the night. Over the past few weeks the most pleasing thing to see is how Evans has been able to find others when he drives. The entire defense collapses and will inevitably leave others open. Continuing this will be vital if the Pelicans want their offense to fire on all cylinders. He finished with 31 points on 24 shots, 10 assists on 2 turnovers and had a block and a steal.
  • Let’s not forget the importance of Ryan Anderson. After going through a bit of a rough patch Anderson hit 8 three’s on the night tying a career high. Before tonight he was shooting 16 per cent from three (over the past 5 games). With Davis out Anderson stepped up big time, filling the scoring void in the front-court. He finished with 30 points on 18 shots, had 4 rebounds and a block and steal.
  • Jrue Holiday‘s defense on Kyrie Irving was the most underrated thing to watch this evening. Kyrie was so pissed off, but Jrue kept on him. Yes, he finished with 17 points and 7 assists (Irving) but most of that was at the end when it never really mattered. At one point he was 0-10 from the field. Maybe Irivng can learn a thing or two from Holiday in terms of defense.
  • If there’s one player I’m very unsure about it’s Kevin Love. He looked okay for most of the game, but his dominance has fallen by the way side in Cleveland. He had 7 rebounds tonight. What the hell is that? For most of the game he is asked to drift well outside the paint and set screens for Irving or Waiters. He never received a post-up once tonight – pretty much all his points came from hustling. The coaches and his team-mates in Cleveland have to get him more involved and put him in positions to succeed – play to his strengths. I personally didn’t see that tonight.
  • The crowd really got into it – especially when Evans was doing his #bullyball
  • We will give you an update on Anthony Davis when we have one. We’re unsure if it’s anything serious, but we’ll be sure to keep you posted.

The Pelicans are now 11-11 on the season (7-2 at home). They play the Warriors at home on Sunday who will be without Andrew Bogut.

12 Comments

  1. champsworld504

    December 12, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    I must say that I despise the Cavs announce team. Other than that, one hell of game by the good guys!

  2. kfte

    December 12, 2014 at 11:10 pm

    Great team victory , without A.D. Anderson shot came back just in time  .I hope A.D. gets  back for Golden State.

  3. ByronMarcusWashington

    December 13, 2014 at 1:02 am

    Yeah they truly are terrible. I sometimes get mad at our announcers for not being based enough, then I think, no one wants to hear completely lopsided announcing. That is what they do.

  4. ByronMarcusWashington

    December 13, 2014 at 1:03 am

    Over at http://www.thebirdwrites.com they pointed out in the pregame keys to let LeBron get his and don’t double so his team won’t get involved. I believe it worked

  5. Pelican Poster

    December 13, 2014 at 1:04 am

    So many reasons why that was a definite confidence building game:
    – Did it essentially without AD
    -Tyreke another great performance, 3rd one in last 7 games
    – Ryno showed up
    – Rivers perfect 7-7 from the line and a DUNK
    – Jimmer gave us a timely spark following AD’s exit; too bad he didn’t hit that 3, but likely too excited

  6. Pelican Poster

    December 13, 2014 at 1:06 am

    ByronMarcusWashington No doubt…you could see LeBron starting to showboat a bit…I think that took Irving and Love out of it a bit and even the announcers said the Monty was having no problem with what was going on…if he is going to hit those jumpers than God Bless Him, but I’d take those chances every day if it meant possible misses and allowing his teammates to lose their drive a bit…

  7. Pelican Poster

    December 13, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Oh and also a Monty TECHNICAL!  How could we lose after that!?

  8. PelicanSaints

    December 13, 2014 at 5:56 am

    Reke had a little extra juice going against his homeboy Dion Waiters. …

  9. NOEngineer

    December 13, 2014 at 6:17 am

    Congratulations to Monty!  He coached a whale of a game.

  10. 504ever

    December 13, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Where are all the naysayers about the non-AD part of our roster?

  11. callmened

    December 13, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    504ever EXCELLENT WIN…even more impressive because i was a non-AD naysayer. this team showed they can beat a good team with out him

  12. dschmid4

    December 13, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Worried about AD. Too much ambiguity around this injury.  Hope all is ok, overnight in the hospital does not sound good. Too many freaky injuries.
    When AD is back wonder about seeing more of the 4 other starters plus Ryno as a unit.  Getting Davis his breaks with players 2-6 on the court.  Is the NBA.com site the best place to get data on how this unit has fared overall and how many minutes it has logged? 
    I think our first 8 is looking pretty solid at this point. Cunningham seems to be a great pick-up and Babbitt/Cunningham answer at 3 is much better than I would have thought. It sort of resembles a poor man’s version of the AD/Ryno at the four. One brings spacing. The other more defense and athletacism. Of course AD brings everything and the kitchen sink too, so its not a great parallel. But the point is with AD and Babbitt – AD can kind of cover some of the holes. While Ryno and Cunningham complement each other also.
    And with these 8, when (if) Eric Gordon comes back – will be in a great position to slide into the rotation as the third/forth guard and ease himself back into it.

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