Pelicans work hard to cause bitterness

The Pelicans needed to tread water through the tough part of this schedule.  They aren’t.  Instead, they are tying lead weights to their feet, just to see what happens.

Tonight, they showed another real cost of all the injuries and line-up uncertainties: these guys simply haven’t played together and when the pressure ratcheted up a little, none of them were doing the right things.  Cole, Douglas, Evans and Gee all took turns throwing bad passes to one another at the end of the third, start of the fourth, and the Rockets simply took the free points and thanked them.

23 turnovers will kill you . . . and all the stupid, stupid fouls . . . and all the dumb shots by guards . . . ugh. The team even did a really good job containing Harden (24 points on 20 shots) and jammed the Dwight pick and rolls enough that he couldn’t get going either.  The plan would have worked, if the Pelicans just hadn’t been so dead set on playing stupid.  I’m grumpy, so therefore you get:

Bitter Observations

  • Anthony Davis looked royally pissed off a couple times in this game.  He looked most angry when he chased Ariza down for a transition block, Houston got the ball, all the Pelicans were back on defense, but not one thought it was a good idea to cover Trevor Ariza, standing alone on the wing.  Davis had to run out on him too.  People are whining about Davis’ attitude.  Shit, have you seen this team play?  If I were him, I’d start FedEx’ing boxes of poo to various teammates with cards saying things like “Here’s your defense”  or “Try flinging this to our opponents instead of the ball” or “Please give this your Jersey – because I’d rather play with it.”
  • Hey look, Ty Lawson was +23 and had his best game of the season.  And yes, 12 and 6 is his best game of the season.  Congratulations, Pelicans.  Lawson has been good for 7 and 4 on 33% shooting. I asked for one thing in the pregame, damnit!
  • Before the Game on Twitter I said Asik might play better with stronger teammates around him.  He did.  I could almost call him average!
  • 32 fouls in the game – and you know what?  The Pelicans deserved them.  They were bloody stupid over and over – hacking at guys, reaching for steals they had no chance at, grabbing guys 20 feet away from the basket.  It was a stupid fest.  I’m having trouble deciding between Ajinca (4 fouls in 9 minutes) and Cole (4 in 24, but most of them way out on the perimeter) for getting the Foul Ball award.
  • Speaking of foul balls and Norris Cole – his shot is way off.  Yes, he hit some last year.  Historically, he can’t shoot, and I worried about it having been a fluke.  He was hot garbage tonight as he jacked five threes.
  • The Pelicans won the rebound battle.  So I guess not all of these observations are bitter.

So, uh, sorry about the venting.  I’ll be in a better mood for the Pod.  Because, you know, there is no game before it.

4 responses to “Pelicans work hard to cause bitterness”

  1. As someone who is also short and wiry, I find Ish’s tenacity on the boards at the NBA level to be almost inspirational. He had 8 tonight in 13 minutes.

  2. Also, I can’t help but wonder if the fouling problem tonight issued from the game plan. Houston is a very turnover prone team. It seems possible Gentry told the players to amp up their aggressiveness tonight in the hopes of creating a TO fest for the opponent.

  3. Not going to lie, seems like out of all the guards you get your best play out of Ish Smith. Even last night only played 13 minutes and pulled down 8 boards, 3rd in the team last night behind AD and Ryan Anderson. Why would you sit a player who’s 4th in assist in the league? 6th in assist turnover ratio? Seem like the Pelicans flow better when Ish is in the game and AD seems pretty happy with him. Just seems weird to me.

  4. Not going to lie, pretty hard to optimistic about this season (I think we all) had marked ourselves for a seed in the play-off’s after last year and retaining the same team… 
    If I was going to be optimistic, I’d say that there is some dissonance atm between the comments of ‘give it a couple of weeks / I’m not worried till January’ and the current team performance… I’m hoping there is some ‘recency bias’ happening rather than long-term systemic issues.
    So I’m gonna stay optimistic, although I’ve had 15 ruined nights thus far this season, and say that the sun is going to rise for the team in the next month.
    We have a home stretch coming up and a few practice days… What I’d like to see is pretty simple:
    1. Better ISO and pick-pop from AD with Reke, lets get AD back to his Elbow sweet spot on the weak side.
    2. Perimeter D can’t leave their guy… that simple… trust the interior D and stop helping inside, just stick to your guy or rotate onto the new guy.
    3. Settle down with the line-ups…. geez…
    4. Play Asik…. Yep, a guy doesn’t fall off the cliff like that… just show him the video of him flopping up to the rim this year and video of some determined dunks last year… and ask him… “whats the difference?”… hopefully he’ll say “I’m playing for the foul”… the reply: “is it working?”

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