Pelicans slog way to another loss

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Published: April 9, 2016

It was the fourth game in five nights for the Pelicans, and it ended predictably: with a loss and an injury.  Ajinca left after hurting his shoulder in the fourth – and other than a few brief moments in the first quarter – the team looked exhausted.  That’s not surprising with only 9 guys available and Phoenix determined to amp up the pressure.

The pressure was tangible and impactful.  They new the Pelicans had a dearth of ball handlers, and so they met guys with hard traps as soon as they cross the half-court line.  The switched freely from pressing the ball handler to zones to back.  They kept a team without a lot of natural talent from getting into a flow for the first two quarters – and by the time they started figuring stuff out a little in the second half, the Pelicans were too tired to make anything hard.  There were a lot of short shots, a lot of close shots that couldn’t find the mark – and even Tim Frazier looked gassed and didn’t have the pop and verve we’ve enjoyed.

Happily, having a schedule loss against a bad team at this point is good for the Pelicans lottery chances.  Yay?

Observations:

  • Toney Douglas must have a sick routine.  The guy was the only Pelicans who didn’t look exhausted and had burst all through the game.  Impressive guy.
  • Babbitt started strong offensively – but couldn’t keep it going through the whole game as he started missing the shots around the rim he had no issue with in the first half.  On the flip side, Teletovic abused the crap out of him defensively – driving by him over and over.
  • I found it fascinating how often Ennis was there on the offensive glass tonight.  The Pelicans don’t send people to the glass, so the fact Ennis was let loose to do that is interesting – the Pelicans coaching staff must see some natural talent for that sort of thing there.
  • The fourth featured some ugly fouls as the Pelicans became more and more tired and reached more and more.  Ugh.
  • Archie Goodwin is as selfish a basketball player as I’ve ever seen.
  • I’m still a little shocked when I look at the box score and only see 11 turnovers.  It felt more like 18.

Two more games!  If the Pels lose their next one and the Wolves continue to win (like they are at this moment against Portland) there is still a possibility they will tie for the 5th worst record.

Exciting?

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