Pelicans Lose, But Kobe Fans Go Home Happy

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Published: February 4, 2016

Anthony Davis deserves better than this. He really does.

You can argue that he has tailed off a bit this season or that he hasn’t been engaged every single possession, but his production and skill set is undeniable. He is a once in a generation talent and he started the game tonight with (arguably) the worst starting point guard (Cole), shooting guard (BDJ), and small forward (Gee) in the league. And though his rebounding and defense is good, Asik is probably the least talented offensive center starting in the NBA. This is what Anthony Davis has around him four seasons into his NBA career. Sure, Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson give some punch off the bench, but they have to be close to perfect to overcome the holes that the atrocious starting lineup can dig for themselves. And that was the case tonight.

Despite a tremendous showing from Davis (39 points), the Pelicans dropped a game to the horrid Lakers for the second time in just over 3 weeks, 99-96. Jrue Holiday (19 points) and Ryan Anderson (17 points), each had their moments, but they were asked to do far too much, as the Lakers simply refused to cover some of the Pelicans offensively challenged players. On multiple possessions, Dante Cunningham, Alonzo Gee, or Omer Asik were simply unguarded so the Lakers could concentrate their efforts on one of the Pelicans Big 3 weapons. As a result, there were several long scoreless droughts, and that was the difference in the game.

Norris Cole, Omer Asik, Alonzo Gee, Toney Douglas, Dante Cunningham, and Alexis Ajinca played a combined 91 minutes and went 1-16 from the field. Read that sentence again. That is a disgrace. A guy on a 10-day contract thoroughly outplayed every single one of them, both in effort and production. What this tells you, is that Dell can go and pick up guys off the street, and they are likely to outplay numerous players he paid millions to this summer. That is how bad this roster is.

Anthony Davis deserves better.

Notes and Observations

  • The loudest moments from the crowd all came when Kobe was at the line or checked into or out of the game. On one trip to the line, chants of ‘M-V-P’ were incredibly loud. For a visiting player. When Kobe hit a big 3 in the middle of the 4th, it trumped the crowd noise from an Anthony Davis dunk just a few moments earlier. Yes, Kobe got an ovation in Boston and on other stops this year, but the home team did too in those games.
  • Julius Randle finished the game with 5 fouls according to the box score. In reality, he had between 35 and 40. On nearly every possession, he held Davis on defense and used his off arm to push off on offense. Not exaggerating – EVERY possession. This, combined with his overall demeanor, leads me to believe I will eventually grow to hate him as much as Kenyon Martin, if he ever plays for a relevant team.
  • Dante Cunningham busts his butt on every play, and it is unfortunate that his teammates don’t do the same. He had a block on a fast break late in the 4th that could have changed the whole game, but 3 of his 5 teammates had already given up on the play, so Kobe got a put back. Then, two plays later, after AD missed an uncontested layup, he was screaming for any of his teammates to stop the ball as he raced back at full speed, but nobody did and Russell got a layup.
  • Bryce Dejean-Jones is an NBA player if he stays hungry. He is playing like his hair is on fire, and that stands out when juxtaposed against the other guards on this team. He is not tremendously skilled, but he is athletic and he plays hard, and that is enough to be a solid 9th man.
  • Tyreke’s smile after Ryno’s dunk was everything. Please post a GIF. Thanks.
  • I hated Kobe with a passion until about 2014. He seems to have gained some perspective and matured tremendously over the last few years, however, and though I hate that he cost us this game (or maybe I don’t), I have done a 180 on him and wish him the best in the next phse of his life.
  • Basketball IQ. Um, do you need 5 coaches to tell you to foul when you are down 2 with 20 seconds left and the shot clock is off?? This might not be the dumbest team ever, but it ain’t the smartest.
  • The box score says the Pelicans defense was terrible in the first half, but honestly, the Lakers made a ton of shots that they normally don’t. Russell and Clarkson were hitting tough contested shots that they make less than 40% of the time regularly and even Hibbert hit a deep J. The Pelicans weren’t great on D, especially with some dumb fouls on Swaggy P behind the line, but they honestly weren’t that bad. The Lakers scored 59 in the first half and 40 in the second, but I’m telling you, the Pelicans defense wasn’t much different. Some times a team just hit shots for a half.
  • The Pelicans are now 5.5 games out of 8th and they travel to Cleveland and OKC before the All-Star break. At best, they will likely be 5-6 out going to the break, having to jump 4-5 teams, with 29 games to go. There are all kinds of different goals for an organization, but making the playoffs this year shouldn’t be this teams primary objective. I mean, how sad was it when the TNT crew told us that the chant used to be ‘1-2-3 June’, but they changed it recently because it was no longer realistic. Man, what a depressing season.

13 Comments

  1. 504ever

    February 5, 2016 at 7:01 am

    I think we are going to look back at this game as the day reality set in for this season.  
    And how many times are we going to read Alvin Gentry quotes about the guys not doing what “we talked about” before fans realize there is a problem with this team?  How many write-ups will note a lack of effort by Pelicans players before fans ask why?  How we got here is much more disturbing to me than that we are here: 18-31 and 5.5 games out of the playoffs.

  2. Michael McNamara

    February 5, 2016 at 7:59 am

    The way you feel now is the way I felt after the Boston game, way back in December. This season ended for me way back then.
    All I can hope for is that, via trades or internal culture building, they can start to build some positive things for future years over these next few weeks/months

  3. Come On Pelican

    February 5, 2016 at 8:19 am

    Michael McNamara 

    You were unmerciful in your relentless criticism of Monty
    Williams over every questionable decision he ever made during a game, and now, after
    that atrociously dismal coaching performance by Alvin Gentry toward the end of last
    night’s loss to the Lakers, all you can muster is:  “Basketball IQ.  Um, do you need 5 coaches to tell you to foul
    when you are down 2 with 20 seconds left and the shot clock is off??  This might not be the dumbest team ever, but
    it ain’t the smartest.”  You have zero
    credibility and should do all real Pelicans players a favor and just stop
    writing about this team.

  4. LaNative

    February 5, 2016 at 8:22 am

    This article is absolutely correct, AD deserves better.  I’ve complained about vocal and self-centered players who make demands but AD has to become vocal with management  and demand that they get another superstar and better pieces.  AD has to also become a recruiter, soliciting free agents to play with HIM and show them the possibilities of what they can do together.  Dude disengages in games because he sees the lack of effort, the defensive inability and the low IQ.  I haven’t agreed with coaches getting fired for winning but I don’t understand how a coach and a GM aren’t fired for losing and creating one of the poorest performing teams in the Association!  AD is a young and maturing as an adult and a professional basketball player.  I love the fact that he’s a good kid but he needs someone on his team that is motivating him both on the court and off helping him navigate his way to stardom.
    Dell Demps hiding from the media is unacceptable and only speaking via phone is ludicrous – get your butt from behind the desk and face the fans, after all this is your team and your coach.  Mickey laid you in front of the  bus when he said “you were in charge of the coaching search/hire”. I think Demps should be fired and the sooner the better in my honest opinion.  And the right GM would not have hired Alvin Gentry in the first place.
    I hate to say it but AD you do deserve better and it’s obvious to this point that your management and ownership doesn’t seem to think so – so demand it young man.

  5. Jason Calmes

    February 5, 2016 at 8:31 am

    Criticize the game, team, or things people say. Next time you insult someone, you are gone.

  6. Michael McNamara

    February 5, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Come On Pelican Michael McNamara Thank you for all your contributions over the years. Pelicans fans are better off for hearing your opinions.

  7. champsworld504

    February 5, 2016 at 9:11 am

    Bruh, I thought we were done finding new ways to lose. I was wrong.

  8. Michael McNamara

    February 5, 2016 at 9:12 am

    LaNative Gotta say that I was kind of disappointed this summer when I asked AD if he would recruit players in future years, and he said that it wasn’t his style. I don’t see that changing, unfortunately.

  9. LaNative

    February 5, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Michael McNamara LaNative Maybe he’s starting to see the need.  Let’s hope.

  10. CoReMeGa

    February 5, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    PREACH!
    I didn’t want to see Monty go. He’s not the best coach but I thought he deserved one more year. Then I got really excited about this coaching staff… Now… Wow this is terrible!
    BDJ was everywhere and the eye test tells me that he is already better than Gordon and making like 16 mil less haha… There is sadness in my laughter. Dante should be starting next to AD as well. The effort to start a game and get off to a good start would be better than starting a “true” center. But there is no hope… Burn it down!

  11. nolahog

    February 5, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    I agree with Michael.  I’ve softened a lot on Kobe over the past few years, and I wish him well.  The “Kobe Trolls” in N.O. arena, though, can get f@#ked!!!  I’m curious to see if they’ll all keep showing up for the Lakers games after Kobe leaves.  I suspect they’ll all pick up Steph Curry jerseys and jump on a new bandwagon??

    Glad I was out watching parades and didn’t have to sit in the arena to listen to their vile screeching.  I’m so glad Kobe’s gone.

    Also. . . we’re terrible.  I’m hoping these guys can regroup for one final push. . .

  12. HarleyG

    February 5, 2016 at 8:59 pm

    As someone who never got beyond high school basketball I can only watch the ability of these players and marvel.  BUT one thing we did, sometimes for hours per week, was shoot from that line which happens to be 15 feet from the front of the backboard.  Last night we were 14 of 26.  A blistering 53.8%.  They were 14 of 20 for 70%.  Can anyone explain to me how, as a player, you can accept millions of dollars per year and be less than mediocre at the charity stripe??  Both teams made the same number of 2 point field goals (39) although we had 4 more attempts.  They made 3 more 3s (7/20 vs 4/20).  So we had more attrempts and more trips to the line and still lost.  
    This is not the first game we have lost from the free throw line either.  If you are out manned or outgunned, that’s understandable. But to lose the game from the line night in and night out makes me wonder why we don’t go after this low hanging fruit with vengeance.
    And my season ticket package just arrived for next season…..and I’m supposed to pay more??

  13. Michael McNamara

    February 6, 2016 at 9:25 am

    HarleyG They were 6th in the league heading into last night. Once in a while, the ball goes a quarter of an inch to the right or left over and over in a night. It happens. 
    Pro athletes make 85% of their 3’s in practice, yet shooting 40% in a game makes you a star. They also make 90+ percent of their FT’s. Heck, I have sat there and watched Austin Rivers drain 20 in a row. 
    The problem is that you can’t simulate these two shots accurately anywhere outside of a real game, with real fans, real fatigue, real pressure, etc. 
    Some nights, you just miss free throws, but that is not the problem with this team, because most of the league misses them more than the Pelicans.

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