Pelicans bury Bucks in threes

Published: January 23, 2016

The first half of this game was pretty rough en route to a 52-51 halftime lead for the Pelicans.  The half had multiple little 10-2 runs from both teams, as each squad took turns looking very mortal offensively and turning the ball over.  The Bucks, in particular, came out hard on Davis – doubling him on the catch with Giannis and Monroe – and he found it difficult to find a passing lane out, instead opting for an escape dribble that essentially reset the offense each time.

In the third, however, Davis would catch the ball a little higher on the floor as the double came, and on the other side of the court.  That allowed him to find cutters like Asik, or shooters, as the Bucks had to come farther to double him – and he could use his good hand to wing passes around while keeping the ball away from him.  Then the team started running a weakside pick and roll that sent Davis along the right hand side of the paint while Anderson spaced on the right hand side a little further for him.   The Bucks never adjusted to it, instead opting to let Giannis decide to stay home on Anderson or crash down on Davis.  Buckets ensued – and if the Bucks did bump the pick and roll properly, swing passes found guys.  Once Khris Middleton stopped hitting all his midrange and long jumpers, there was no getting back into for the Bucks.


  • Cunningham was out tonight, but regardless, the starting unit is the opposite of dynamic.  Asik-Davis-Gee-Evans-Cole has exactly zero shooters other teams respect.  Not one.  The start of this game was really rough offensively as the Bucks just played 4-5 feet off the perimeter.
  • Gee had his best game of the season, going 5-9 for 18 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists.  The Bucks ballhandlers were also so bad that he frequently made them look silly.
  •  You want to know why the Bucks have a terrible defense despite all those long arms and quick athletes?  Because they make decisions like “Anderson’s at the three point line?  Cool.  I’ll stay here.”  I don’t think I’ve ever seen Ryan Anderson open for that many threes in a game.
  • I’ll be honest.  When Cole went out just a few minutes into the game with his second foul, I was so happy.  Toney Douglas deserves to play and can stretch the floor.  His defense is awful, but he gives more than Cole does.  Unlike Gordon, as well, he flat out sprints from position to position offensively, contorting defenses as they try to track him. (Going a stupid 4-6 from three is pretty snazzy too)
  • Bryce Dejean-Jones not only got his first NBA points tonight, but he got them on a Franchise Record tying 17th made three pointer.  Nice.
  • Jrue Holiday had a +32 in the box score.  Basically he was the only one making Middleton work – and since Tyreke was struggling with the slows (and I saw him rubbing his knee three times in the game, Yikes!) having him out there gave another sharp pick and roll guy to run with Davis.
  • Davis had a tough game battling a team focused on stopping him.  In the end, though, he broke free on that weakside PNR and finished with a 22 and 7 with 4 blocked shots.  Even better, he was orchestrating at times and making quick decisions with the ball in the paint – finding guys for 5 assists.
  • The Bucks couldn’t buy a foul call tonight.  I feel terrible about that.  Now.
  • I wouldn’t trade Norris Cole for Jerryd Bayless.  Okay, maybe I would.  But it would be hard.

Next game is Monday!

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