Pelicans lose Davis, and then a sloppy, sloppy game

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Published: January 8, 2016

The last meaningful shot the Pelicans took was a fitting epitaph for the game.  With the Pelicans down three, Gordon received the ball in the corner with space to shoot.   He pump-faked, realized he still had room, leaned back, and vomited a three pointer that missed the rim by five feet.  It wasn’t blocked or his shooting stroke hampered by a defender – he just lost his grip in the stress of the moment.  Game.

Of course, probably the real difference in this game happened at the start.  There wasn’t a player on the court that could stop Davis.  So, true to 2015-2016 Pelican Luck, he was taken out by the lack of people in the second row.  Chasing a loose ball, Davis dove and hit the chairs so hard the entire row displaced – and he was done for the game after playing a spare 3 minutes.  Of course.

For about a quarter, it didn’t seem like it would matter as the Pelicans played good basketball, moving the ball, finding the open man, cutting to open spots, and pushing out to a 30-16 lead.  Everything was Sunshine and Unicorns.   But we’ve all seen this act before, right?  When the second quarter started, the Pelicans went away from all that shiny goodness, and instead of running plays to get shots, they started running plays to get mismatches.  Then they would force feed the mismatches and stand around and watch that guy work. (usually Anderson)  The result was 13 points.

Despite that, the Pelicans had the lead for most of the game as the Pacers turned the ball over 24 times in some of the sloppiest ball handling ever anywhere at any time.  The Pelicans tried to match them, but couldn’t keep up, so, apparently, decided to give the Pacers the offensive rebounds needed to keep it close.  Kind of them.

The result – the Pacers slipped ahead at the end, and the Pelicans couldn’t capitalize on about 357 different steals they had in the last 3 minutes.

Ugh.

Observations:

  • Omer kept the rebounding where it needed to be for the first half.  Then he went to the ground diving after a loose ball and got smacked twice in the face while on the ground.  He didn’t return.  Sigh.  Ajinca was okay covering for him, but he wasn’t as good at sealing people away from the glass so he or his teammates could get rebounds.  He ended the game with way more rebounds than Asik, but that’s a little artificial.
  • Dante Cunningham did a really, really good job on Paul George.  George is like Gordon in one respect – if he’s on the move with the ball, bad things can happen.  Dante gave him little space and made him a driver.  George ended 3-13 for 13 points and 4 turnovers.
  • Tyreke was exhausted by the end of the game – and it looked like he was wincing in the fourth and favoring that knee.  More importantly, they weren’t running plays for him at the end of the game, so I think the issue was real.  Of course, he also kept the Pelicans afloat for most of the game.  Without him, they were toast early.
  • Gordon was really bad.  But,
  • Norris Cole was worse.  In fact, Norris Cole had me spitting angry on three separate occasions.  Know your god damn limitations and stop jacking pull-up long twos early in the shot clock and holy crap stop giving up layups and by the way stop driving one on three, because you absolutely suck at finishing around the rim!
  • I felt Jrue had a pretty solid game until he dribbled the ball out of bounds during crunch time.

Feh.  I don’t know.  Davis didn’t play and they barely lost the Pacers, who are a middling team.  It shouldn’t be a game to be mad about.  But even when I should feel okay, there was so much stupid in that game I’m still walking away annoyed.  Not fun.

Next game is Sunday against the Clippers.

7 Comments

  1. sweetjazz3

    January 8, 2016 at 11:24 pm

    Dante’s defense on Paul George was solid, but Jrue guarded him most of the game and his defense was absolutely phenomenal.  I thought Jrue had an amazing game tonight.  It’s a shame he had the bad turnover and the missed 3 in the last 2 minutes, because he competed his butt off all night long.
    I liked that Gentry yanked Evans twice in the second half when he started to rely on his jump shot.
    After Wednesday’s debacle, this was a fun game to watch.  The effort was there.  I can live with execution failures.  When everybody is giving a full effort, there is genuine opportunity for improvement and development.  Will the team play this hungry Sunday afternoon?

  2. cocorner

    January 9, 2016 at 9:07 am

    The Pels are sliding down the slippery slope to a lottery position thanks mainly to s horrendous management who felt this roster was great, needing no upgrade, signing a stiff, Asik, to a huge contract and canning a good coach for assistant lifer. If you notice Gentry’s finger of blame is always point away from him. It’s only a matter of time before AD starts to request an out.

  3. Jason Calmes

    January 9, 2016 at 10:19 am

    cocorner You were not paying attention to why no upgrades were made, etc. Much of this has been addressed.

  4. ryanschwan

    January 9, 2016 at 11:43 am

    sweetjazz3 Yeah – I had Jrue’s defense on George in my notes, but I was feeling pretty sour when I wrote the recap.  Good addition!

  5. cocorner

    January 9, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    Like what. Demps’ public stance was last year’s roster just need to bond so he resigned Asik, Babbitt and Cole. Both San Antonio and the Warriors two years ago upgraded their rosters (Iguodala and Livingston, and Aldridge and West,) but Demps saw no need. He overestimated badly his talent and his coach. Actually, he was lucky to get AD and without him the team would be in the Ben Simmons lottery.

  6. Jason Calmes

    January 9, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    Like what was addressed.
    You can discuss all the other teams, that has nothing to do with this team. How were they going to upgrade? Be specific. Sign a high dollar free agent? With what cap room? Trade a guy? Who would they get if the roster is so bad?
    You can certainly recognize that the team is losing, but you are demonstrating that you do not understand how they got to this point.

  7. Charbroilledoysters

    January 9, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    Jason Calmes Hmmm. “how they got to this point.”? In large part, my suggestion is because managements’ decisions about player personel made since the current rebuild started when CP3 went to the Clippers at the end of 2011. And with some luck, good and bad, thrown in. For example, good luck winning draft lottery and getting Davis. Bad luck, the injuries.

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