Quotes, Stats, and Moleskin Moments: Pels Lose A Tough One to the Rockets

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Published: March 25, 2015

The New Orleans Pelicans (37-34) suffered a huge loss to the Houston Rockets (48-24). The Pelicans lead by as many as 17 in the second quarter, but went into the half only up by 3. Later, they trailed by as many as 11.

Stats that really stick out: The Pelicans gave up 62 points in the paint. 50 of the Rockets’ 81 shots came inside the paint. They took 22 shots from beyond the arc. In other words, only 9 shots came outside of their comfort zone. The Pelicans never forced this team to take the midrange jumpers, never took away their offense. The Rockets simply went from missing shots to making shots. The Pelicans also took 32 free throws, but missed 12. Anthony Davis by himself went 6/14 from the line. At one point the Pels were being outrebounded 38-26 (ended the game 43-37.) In the first quarter they forced six turnovers and scored 12 points off them (the Pelicans only scored seven points off turnovers the rest of the way.) Eric Gordon went 0/5 tonight, scoring only six points. The Pelicans gave up 11 fastbreak points in the second quarter, after only giving up one in the first.

 

In a game the Pels needed, they let the Rockets play exactly how they wanted to. And Rockets played their game, despite missing their starting point guard. If the Pelicans want to beat playoff teams, they need to knock them off their games. They can’t let teams like the Rockets get into their comfort zone. They have to take away something.

Quotes

Coach Monty Williams on perspective “It’s a tough loss. I was real with them. It’s a tough loss, there’s no other way to put it. I thought we did a lot to ourselves.”

After the game, once everyone cleared out, Davis came back out onto the court with a ball-boy, and took free throws until he made 100. Unlike Kobe in ’11 when there was a sleuth of reporters, by the time any of us caught wind of this and made it out there, he had made his 100 and was heading back to the lockerroom. This is a game he took personally, later saying “I don’t feel comfortable missing eight free throws especially when we lost by two. Make [those] eight free throws we win by six…Go out there, and try to figure it out.” When asked if he figured it out, he simply said “he did.” Later saying, it was “mechanical.”

Davis FTs after the game Edit

Here are the Moleskin Moments:

Pre-Game

  • Over his last five games, Davis has been averaging 5.3 assists per game. Second highest on the team over that stretch.
  • James Harden averaging 16 pts 4.5 rebs 4 asts against @PelicansNBA this year. Tame compared to his recent output. Let’s hope for more of the same.
  • Rockets average 9.5 steals per game. Second in the league behind frenetic Sixers.
  • Interesting to see if the Rockets stick with their 16 minute restriction for Dwight Howard tonight. (Have also heard 20 mins.)

1Q

  • Turnover Diff. always crucial for this team. Especially against a team like Houston. Pels winning that battle early (7 of first 8 pts off TOs.)
  • Looks like Rockets may stick to their minute restriction for Dwight. Pulled after 5 minutes.
  • 4:41 Alexis Ajinca making the midrange jumper he and Withey were working on pregame.
  • 3:55 Reke with 12 points on five shots. 2 layups, 2 threes. #JasonTerryeffect
  • 1:32 Reke drives and gets bumped, passing to Ajinca under the hoop. Ajinca bobbles/hesitates, then passes to Cunningham for a long two. Shot goes in; team is winning, but want freethrows, a dunk or a three on that kind of possession. Long two worst possible shot in that scenario.
  • Beautiful bounce pass by Tyreke for the Dante Cunningham dunk. Turnover battle biggest different in the game so far. 32-16
  • Reke with as physical of a layup as one can have to end the quarter. 14 points on a perfect 6-6 from the field. 34-19
  • 6 turnovers for 12 points for the Pelicans. 2 TOs for 2 Points for Rockets. @PelicansNBA#keystothegame
  • Potential negative after 1Q. Rockets had 16 shots in the paint, made 8 (they will make more than that if they keep getting that many.)

2Q

  • Howard in to start the 2Q. Curious if they will only play him after longer breaks in play.
  • 6 mins- Cole needs to finish that pressure release after a double on Davis. Get the ball to an open Quincy Pondexter. Better a Q-Pon 3 than a Cole runner.
  • 3 mins Small lineups with this team, requiring Cunningham to play this much, are killer. 45-40 Pels
  • 2:15 Rockets just called a timeout the Pels needed more than the Rockets. Evans three broke something like 10 straight misses and the team looked disjointed.
  • 1:12 Rockets not respecting Cole’s baseline 3, mucking up spacing when Cunningham got the ball. (Cole made a midrange jumper off the bounce tho.) 50-45

Half

  • Asik +2 Ajinca +10 Cunningham -2. Rockets went 11 of 15 in the paint in the 2Q for 22 pts. (@PelicansNBA had 18 total in the 2Q). #SizeMatters

3Q

  • 9:42 Stagnant possessions on offense, and giving up threes and frees on defense, does not bode well to start the 3Q.
  • 8:20 With Tyreke magic having possibly worn off. Where will the offense come from? Not looking good as @PelicansNBA are scoreless after 3:40.
  • 7:28 Q-Pon’s offensive rebound gave Pelicans a bucket there, but offense still stagnant, no spacing right now with Eric Gordon off his game.
  • 6:30 Harden catching on. How do the @PelicansNBA stop him? (Also how do the Pels get AD some touches. No shots so far this half.)
  • 6:00 Bad off-the-ball defense by Evans there. No man’s land. Not doubling Harden, but away from his man who was one pass away. A 3 for Ariza.
  • 3:05 Maybe if that was a 3 from Cunningham it goes in-overshot by a bit. Need someone who can make that shot for when teams flood the strong side.
  • :20 In maybe the first cut of the second half, Cunningham gets the ball and draws the foul. 2 fts.
  • .04 Gordon drive and free throws cut the lead to 8. First points for Gordon since he scored the first Pelicans points of the game.
  • 18 total points for the @PelicansNBA in the 3Q. 16 points in the paint for the Rockets in the third quarter (29 total).
  • AD on his way to a 46 minute game?

4Q

  • 9:25 Cole has to play with Lebron/Wade rules when on a fastbreak with Davis, give the ball up to him before they take the foul.
  • 8:18 4 points off turnovers since the first quarter for @PelicansNBA. Outrebound 38-26 on the game. 56-34 in points in the paint.83-76
  • 6:26 Doctor checking AD’s right shoulder after that fall.
  • 4:41 “What are you prepared to do?” moment for the Pelicans right here. 91-80 #untouchables
  • Apparently Davs was prepared to check in.
  • Got to give Davis the ball. Just for the adrenaline, he scores, roof pops off.
  • in the bonus. Need to take advantage of that. Points/stop the clock/set up the defense.
  • Huge bucket by Asik. Five point game. 1:08 left. Need a stop and bucket here. (Or some Khris Middleton magic.)
  • 3.3 seconds 95-92 Rockets Guessing Q-Pon and Gordon get the first looks. Not mad if Davis decides what could be the season too.
  • Rare time we see that implemented in the NBA .Foul. Gordon with 2 shots.  1.7 seconds.
  •  Gordon makes the first one, misses the second as time expires Rockets 95 Pelicans 93.
5 comments
BillBloom
BillBloom

As usual, I enjoyed your piece:  it showed the exuberance and frustration that goes with a young, inexperienced team.  But the future outlook is great.

Pelican Poster
Pelican Poster

With that short a time left I'd rather have seen Gordon go straight up for the shot and that becomes 3 FT's...many unfortunate let downs after such a promising start...AD's FT shooting the most surprising of all...no way I see AD down for all that time and showing that much pain and then just comes right back in shortly thereafter??? Almost like a dislocation that's being popped back in but I know that's not it...

It aint over til its over...OKC and Phoenix both lose tonight and check out their upcoming 5 games....very tough...but we HAVE TO WIN GAMES!!!!

ChristopherRomaguera
ChristopherRomaguera

@Pelican Poster That would not have been the cleanest of looks. In the end, you wish a guy like Q-Pon (who had made a few 3s) or Davis (cause he's Davis) would have gotten the look. Was hoping for a cleaner look too. 


On Ad's fall, think it was pain and shock. When you mess up a shoulder like that, you feel it on certain hits after. I've never taken a hit like AD has, and after a certain shoulder injury, I feel it from time to time when I take a hit. Think that happened with AD tonight. 


Free throw shooting was surprising. AD definitely took it personally. Maybe fatigue and shoulder injury played an effect, since he said he thought it was mechanical. 


Lastly, I agree. OKC had a beautiful stretch of home games. Think they'll come back to the mean. But we need to win games. Put pressure on them by winning games, and see what happens. Three games we have/should win coming up, let's see what we got. 

Pelican Poster
Pelican Poster

I agree that it was not a great look, but what else was he to do? His instinct was to take it inside the 3pt line which was not the play down by 3 with the ball in your hands and 2sec left on the clock. He felt the contact from behind and went forward; even if he was thinking step-back 3 at that second, it would have also been a bad decision since the guy was trailing. As a veteran player, he instinctively should have put up a shot the moment he felt body contact in HOPES of making it or drawing a foul.

ADs injury was reported as an AC joint...I am very familar with that injury and to say it is painful is an understatement...what I don't remember is being to able to turn it on or off as what appeared, hence my comments.

ChristopherRomaguera
ChristopherRomaguera

@Pelican Poster Yea, I personally think Gordon was trying to be cute, hoping that if he put the ball down on the floor that it would draw defenders over for someone else to be able to get the last shot. Not a bright play, but I do hate the position he was in. Think we bailed them out a bit too by having Tyreke inbound the ball. Often the inbounder is considered one of the most dangerous players on the floor in that instance, but 'Reke isn't scaring anyone from 30+ feet out. Think it was a nixed play from the outset.


As for Davis, I think it was an adrenaline thing. Came out like a house on fire when he checked in, but quickly seemed to lose that energy and focus. We'll see what he looks like tomorrow, but it's definitely something worth monitoring.