Pelicans force OT but come up short in sloppy game with 94-88 Loss

I really hate to start a post about an overtime loss so negatively, but outside of Anthony Davis, I’m really running out of good things to say about this Pelicans team. The first half today was a total joke outside of AD; it’s a miracle that the team was only down by 4 at halftime. The Heat missed a bunch of good looks and just weren’t playing very well themselves, but that doesn’t excuse New Orleans’ poor play. The team didn’t seem to care about rebounding the basketball in the first quarter, as Hassan Whiteside outrebounded the entire Pelicans team 11-10 (5 offensive boards). The Pels clawed back in the second quarter, as Davis and Holiday shined, while the Heat couldn’t hit anything, despite a decent number of open shots.

The third quarter was basically the opposite of the second quarter; Bosh and Dragic made shots, and the Pelicans didn’t. Furthermore, Anthony Davis played all 12 minutes but only scored 3 points on 4 shot attempts and only grabbed 2 rebounds. After 3, New Orleans trailed 63-52, and based on how the prior 3 quarters had transpired, there appeared to be little hope of turning this on around.

And yet, despite ALL of that, the Pelicans had a chance to somehow WIN this game in regulation, as they had the ball with 13 seconds left. The results: 2 (!) timeouts in a span of 5 seconds, lots of dribbling, and a horrible look for AD that he missed badly. In overtime, there was no real sense of urgency on offense, and the Heat’s best players (Wade and Bosh) made two tough shots against good defense to put this game close to out of reach. With 20 seconds left and the Pelicans down by 6, Gordon missed a layup which Wade rebounded, and the team seemed content to just call it a night instead of trying to foul once more and get the ball back. To me, that speaks volumes about the overall attitude present in the New Orleans locker room right now. This team has gotten used to losing again.

Other Notes:

  • Davis didn’t score terribly efficiently (29 points on 29 FGA), but he made a very positive impact on both ends today. AD finished with 15 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, and 3 blocks. All-around solid game from the Pelicans’ superstar, but he just didn’t have a ton of help.
  • After a quiet first half, Ryan Anderson poured in 15 points on 10 shots in the second half. He also had a couple key offensive rebounds during that time, as his offensive play really helped to get the Pelicans back into this game in the 4th quarter.
  • You may not have noticed it, but Eric Gordon played 43 minutes tonight, and looked good after the first quarter (15 points on 11 shots). He took care of the ball, played pretty good defense on Wade, and just played smart basketball. Gordon was arguably the Pelicans’ best guard tonight.
  • Jrue Holiday’s minutes restriction kept him out of overtime, and the results were about what you’d expect. The offense flowed much better with Holiday as the primary ball-handler than it did with Evans. Speaking of Evans…
  • Tyreke played what may have been his worst game in a Pelicans uniform tonight. He finished with 6 points on 9 shots, and his 7 assists were dwarfed by his 5 turnovers and overall unintelligent play. He forced Gentry to call a second timeout 5 seconds into the game’s final possession, and was also called for a 5-second violation early in overtime. With each game that passes, it becomes more and more clear that he will never quite fit with Alvin Gentry’s system.

Pelicans are back in action tomorrow night at home against the Houston Rockets. Keep a close eye on Anthony Davis down the stretch in that one, as he played 50 minutes today.

20 responses to “Pelicans force OT but come up short in sloppy game with 94-88 Loss”

  1. Not having Jrue for more minutes really hurts, as he is the only other plus player we have outside of AD.  Anderson and Gordon have played reasonably well, given their limitations.  Evans and Cole are disasters in the backcourt and they can’t get the offense flowing.  Just painful to watch them.
    I know Evans was sick (and nobody should question his toughness), but his dumb play and complete disinterest in getting better has gotten old.  The problem is, the rest of the league knows how limited he is and that his ability to fill a stat sheet is very deceptive.  Too bad we couldn’t unload Tyreke on Philly instead of Ish Smith.

  2. The popular excuse du
    jour for Dell Demps and Alvin Gentry apologists is that this team can’t
    fulfill everyone’s lofty expectations because of the “low IQ,” even “dumb”
    Tyreke Evans.This kind of rhetoric is
    below us as fans, and it’s disrespectful of a man who has repeatedly gone to
    the mat – time and time again – for this franchise.I can tell you, without any fear of
    contradiction whatsoever, as a dyed-in-the-red-and-blue fan of this team (even
    though I still have lots of old teal memorabilia), what matters as much as
    anything to many of us is whether a man has given his heart and soul, his
    blood, sweat and tears, to this team.And there is no doubt that Tyreke Evans has done that since he has worn
    a New Orleans uniform – repeatedly.
    Can you remember the excitement when “Dealer Dell” first signed
    Tyreke?He was going to be the ultimate
    6th man coming off the bench.The perfect complement to fill a gap in the team to take us to the
    promised land.But Tyreke has never once
    complained about his role on this team.6th man?Ok.Starting point guard?Let me give that a shot, too.
    Do you remember the end of the 2013-14 season, when Tyreke
    was barely the last man standing, and as the sole survivor he nearly single
    handedly willed this team to a spurt of late season wins, putting the team on
    his back, and leading a band of no-name NBA back benchers, giving us all some
    hope for a decent 2014-15?A man who rolled
    his ankles so many times that season on his crazy drives to the basket –
    sometimes so gruesomely that the TV replays were difficult to watch – yet somehow
    he came back the very same game on one occasion and another time did not even
    miss the next game.
    Do you remember when our savior at point guard Jrue Holiday
    (a man Demps gave up 2 1st round picks for) went down early last
    season – another season that began with hope and promise – and our
    dumb-guy-of-that-moment Monty Williams had to figure out who could play the
    point? And 6’ 6” SG/SF Tyreke Evans stepped
    up and filled that role admirably (and somehow after all this time is still today
    the man that geniuses Gentry and Demps pencil in as point guard every night)?
    A few years ago, the conventional wisdom of the
    NBA-know-it-alls was that Russell Westbrook lacked the basketball IQ –
    essentially was too dumb – to be the point guard of a competitive NBA
    team.Maybe Tyreke is not quite as good
    as Westbrook, but he’s the same type of player – he goes to the wall for you
    every night, he rarely misses a game, he drives to the basket like only a
    handful of players in the league can, he sometimes plays sick.
    Some seem surprised when we finally realize that Tyreke is
    just a big Id – a manchild — who loves nothing more than to suit up and play basketball every day of his
    life.If he were as bad as some suggest,
    basketball brainchildren Alvin Gentry and Dell Demps would not be starting him
    at point guard and dumping Ish Smith for 2 worthless picks.
    The one thing this “low basketball IQ” Pelican fan knows for
    sure:So long as he still wears a Pelicans
    uniform, I will be in the Smoothie King Center cheering for my man Tyreke Evans
    and hoping there are many others in the stands wearing his jersey.

  3. I think there is a larger system/player fit problem than just Tyreke in the Alvin Gentry scheme.  We have to consider that the Pelicans have a scheme fit problem that involves a number of players.  If so, the solution is much more than trading one player.

  4. I think you might be well-served to take a broader look at the situation. Look at my preview today. Evans, I say, is a key piece today, and I give my take on the situation in general.
    If you strip away some of the “aggressive defense” in what you say, you’d be making alot of more sense.
    You, like many posters, confuse the fact that someone has an opinion with that we have have that opinion. It is not true.
    Here, I’ll be specific. McNamara is very down on Evans now, and he passionate and polar when he gets on people. I am slow to react, and my mind is hard to change. We respond to things differently. I have been intrigued by Tyreke but was saying for over a year he was acquired to be traded. I based this on fit, not talent. You seem to be confusing some with McNamara and those who echo him… the writing world is an echo chamber filled with sham artists and the readers who can not discern.
    Settle down, because I agree with you on many points. And I like Tyreke on top of it.

  5. Jason Calmes 
    Remember this scene from Animal House?
    Otter: This situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.
    Bluto: And we’re just the guys to do it.
    Somebody needed to come to Tyreke’s defense, and I decided I was just the guy to do it.

  6. What exactly are you taking exception to in Mason’s post? I read it again. It does not seem over the top or heavy on Evans?
    If you issue is with someone else, take it up with them or they’ll keep doing things you take exception to.

  7. Jason Calmes 
    Yesterday, Mason’s tweet (“Tyreke Evans: dumbest player on the Pelicans”) had 13 retweets and 18 likes. The way I see it, I am just contributing (ever so slightly) to the conversation.

  8. Jason Calmes 
    I don’t tweet or comment on message boards.I read stuff that’s written there, because I love
    to get as much info as I can about the Pelicans.But this is the only place I ever make any comments,
    because of course you guys are the best (and most welcoming).

  9. So explain this apologist thing to me. It seems to me like whether you comment at other places, you seen to read stuff, as you mentioned twitter.
    I just can’t see this apologist thing. Who is that? Names, please.

  10. Jason Calmes 
    In my humble opinion, some people seemed all too eager to point the finger — often with a very derogatory tone — during the last couple of seasons at Monty Williams (a fine Christian man whose primary faults I saw were an outdated philosophy and a lack of creativity; your thoughtful article about Coach Williams recently was mostly on point, I thought).  I think some of your colleagues, however, are those who coined the term “Dealer Demps,” who still decry “Montyball” (a disrespectful, negative term), who never blame anything on Gentry (but mercilessly dissected every questionable decision Coach Williams ever made), and who now pile on Tyreke (a man who deserves our appreciation for reasons I have already stated).
    Who Will Be the Pelicans Second All-Star?
    By: Michael McNamara
    Published: October 2, 2015:
    With Holiday on minutes restriction, Tyreke has a chance to
    put up monster numbers in this uptempo system. Gentry has called Tyreke a point
    guard this entire offseason, and he will likely have the ball in his hands more
    than anybody for the Pelicans. With Holiday out last year, Tyreke was basically
    a 16-8-5 guy in just 33 minutes per game, and again, in a slow-paced Monty
    Williams offense. With more space, Gentry putting Evans in the post more often,
    and an increase in possessions, it would not be crazy to see Tyreke sitting in
    the top 3 in assists come All-Star break. Couple that with increased scoring
    efficiency due to clearer paths to the basket and more free throw attempts, and
    he could be a headache for opposing coaches, and those are the guys who decide
    the reserves.
    Old Habits Die Hard
    By: Graham McQueen
    Published: December 17, 2015:
    Our own Michael McNamara has been pretty vocal that many of
    the Pelicans players should be looked at with the possibility that they may be
    a sunk cost at this point. While I loved the piece and agree with the premise,
    if we are looking at Tyreke Evans, are we at the point where we can unanimously
    consider him a sunk cost? Can we say he is definitely a bad fit for this system
    and that won’t change? I think it is too early to pull the plug.
    Tyreke has always been able to run things his way, so
    everyone, especially Dell Demps and Alvin Gentry, should have expected some
    initial struggle with that freedom.
    Yesterday’s tweet: “Tyreke Evans: dumbest player on the

  11. Jason Calmes 
    I like to read the honest, sincerely held opinions expressed by
    passionate Pelicans fans, even if may they sometimes sound ridiculous (e.g. “a chance to put up monster numbers”).
    I don’t like inconsistent, biased screeches –
    especially when they are supplemented by personal attacks against people who have earned the right to be treated with more respect.
    I tried to give examples of each.
    I’m looking forward to watching AD23 vs. Dwight Howard tonight, to seeing Jrue Holiday try to defend James Harden, and to comparing whether Harden or Tyreke get to the basket more often.  In the end, free throws might determine the winner.  If we’re lucky, Omer Asik might even get fired up to play his old team. Go Pels!

  12. Jason Calmes What’s silly is speculating that Tyreke Evans has the best chance of becoming the team’s second All Star by thriving in Alvin Gentry’s system and then less than three months later advocating a team blow up with Tyreke as your number one trade bait because he has low IQ.

  13. Maybe, maybe not. Depends on if that speculation was reasonable, the later claim reasonable. To some extent, what you are condemning is science if the guess and results did not match.
    I condemn idiocy. I do not condemn science of learning.
    Again, when you are not specific, this goes nowhere fast, but you should address “the offenders” rather than just complain into the ether.

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