Moleskin Moments: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Indiana Pacers 12.23

Pelicans lost 96-84 against the Indiana Pacers, in the kind of game they can’t afford to give up. It was the Pelicans’ seventh straight loss against the Pacers. In an unimportant stat for the day, David West has never lost against New Orleans. The Pelicans saw no ball movement, and the Pacers were able to break down the Pelicans’ defense with just a few passes. New Orleans played at the Pacers’ pace, and never were able to get a string of stops and scores together until it was too late. The Pelicans are now 14-14.

• 1:38 left in the first quarter, Anthony Davis goes straight up on defense, stopping a drive attempt. Showing what Davis sinking back on defense would look like a la Team USA. #effective
• Ryan Anderson struggling early. Missed both his 3s in the first quarter, blocked on a layup, looked lost on some pick and rolls. (The Pels lead went from 18-11 to 26-24 in five minutes with him on the court.)
• Davis isolation stops Pacers run with a beautiful fadeaway jumper. Give him the ball.
• Austin Rivers-Dante Cuningham-John Salmons-Alexis Ajinca-Anderson to start the second quarter. After an early basket, the team goes three straight possessions with: offensive foul Ajinca, Ajinca lazily tries to hand the ball off resulting in a turnover and dunk, then no offensive set and ugly contested runner by Rivers. Even the following set, an isolation for Anderson, was ugly, though Luis Scola bailed him out by biting on a pumpfake.
• 8:25 left in the second quarter, Anderson and Rivers combine for 2/7, no one else on the team has taken a shot; score now 32-32.
• Come out of the stoppage with the same lineup. Back-to-back buckets for Indy, timeout Pelicans at 7:35 (Rivers missed an ugly shot.)
• Watching Davis get the ball on the block, and watching the Pacers defense bend, it is something the Pelicans have to do more of. While it only resulted in the ball being deflected out of bounds, it is something that the Pelicans should continue feeding Davis until he becomes a monster at this.
• 4:20 Pelicans have 6 turnovers this quarter. Having a hard time restarting the offensive mojo they had in the first quarter.
• Anderson forces a three that hits backboard and ricochets off the rim, then called for a foul underneath on David West. He’s having a tough time out there.
• Pelicans are 5th in offensive rating, Pacers 29th. The pace definitely favors the Pacers, even if the Pelicans’ are not typically a running team by any stretch of the imagination.
• Pacers at their full game average of 8 fast break points at the half. Sloppy offense by the Pelicans leading to easy buckets for a Pacers team that struggles to score.
• Pelicans playing better on offense in the third quarter, but the Pacers don’t need more than a pass or two to get an open shot.
• 4:36 In the third, 14 points off turnovers for the Pacers. Pelicans look like their folding. Have to stop the bleeding.
• Dante “Long-2” Cunningham (who needs Josh Smith?)
• Scola should not be able to post up Anderson.
• George Hill hits a three pointer off a skip pass that was so high in the air, that he could have waved for a fair catch. He didn’t though, because for as slow as the pass was, Salmons still wasn’t able to close out on him.
• All the angels sing! Salmons makes a corner three with a little over 7 minutes left in the fourth. First three of the second half for the Pelicans, fourth in the game.
• Hill banks in a three following that, Indy is in a good rhythm and getting the bounces, this game may be lost if the Pels don’t make something happen soon.
• Everyone watching Jrue Holiday, not how you beat a good defensive team.
• Pick and roll for Davis results in an and-1, foul on Roy Hibbert, who would have thought that play works?
• Again, pick and roll, and-1 for Davis, foul on Hibbert, who woulda thought?
• Anderson steps out of bounds, because he’s the best tonight.
• Offense looks much better when Holiday gets the team into its sets. He creates for others better than anyone else on the team.
• Weird time to bring out the Anderson-Davis-Asik lineup, on a night where Anderson seemed lost, missing all six of his three point shots.

One response to “Moleskin Moments: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Indiana Pacers 12.23”

  1. I missed the game, but who needs highlights in ESPN when you provide such a detailed analysis?  I agree with your assessment in that I don’t know why AD is not more involved in the offese.  Kudos to you and keep writing such fine articles.

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