Pelicans Struggle Throughout, Fall to Spurs

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Published: November 25, 2013

Following a dramatic come from behind victory in Cleveland, the New Orleans Pelicans expected to bring it against the Spurs.

What they did not expect, however, was for “it” to be missing a few letters out in front…

Our Pelicans nearly lost control of the game as early as the first quarter when the Spurs went on a 11-0 run. Consecutive buckets by Anderson and Morrow three kept us within striking distance, and the end of the quarter gave genuine hope that this could be a competitive game.

Leading 27-21 and with time winding down, Manu Ginobili threw the ball to Tyreke Evans instead of holding for the last shot of the quarter. Evans drove down court and into Manu, who wasn’t quite set, and hoisted up a successful shot. He converted the three point play, cutting the Pelicans deficit to just three as the teams took a break.

In the second quarter they wouldn’t be so lucky. The Spurs used a 22-8 run to stretch their lead to 17. A Ryan Anderson three provided temporary relief, but the Spurs fired back with six unanswered. Jrue Holiday had a chance to chip away at the deficit at the end of the quarter, but repeatedly missed layups when the Spurs showed rare moments of mental weakness. Jeff Withey was fortunate to finish one, but Holiday needs to make those shots.

At this point, if you were watching, you probably realized something– the Spurs are a far superior team to the Pelicans, and the Pelicans had already made far too many mistakes to have all but a minute chance of winning. Apparently the Pelicans realized that also, because they came back out onto the floor without fire in their bellies. Blah.

By the time the third quarter rolled to a close the Spurs lead has swelled to 26, and this one was over.

I’m trying to think of a New Orleans basketballer that had a decent game, but I’m coming up empty. Maybe Jeff Withey? Austin Rivers in garbage time? I’ll think more and get back to you.

Want to know one who struggled mightily?

Monty Williams.

What in the world is he doing leaving his starters out there so late in the game without a prayer of winning? They were down 27 with five minutes left (a number that represented perfectly how far out of reach this game was the entire second half), and AD and Jrue are on the floor with 30 minutes under their belts, a flight tonight, and a game tomorrow. They are young guys and I’m sure they can handle playing tomorrow, but what about four months from now if we’re fighting for a playoff spot?

When Davis went down I nearly had a heart attack.

In all seriousness Monty is probably going with some starters so that they can get experience playing together against NBA quality talent outside their roster. I get that, but the Pelicans were not playing good basketball. I’m of the school of thought that if you’re practicing poorly, you’re not really getting better. That said, you can see why I don’t think Davis or Holiday should be out there risking injury and draining their bodies without a chance of affecting the outcome of the game.

Wait, I got it! Marco Belinelli!

Damnit…

Mason Ginsberg was credentialed at the AT&T center and offered to give us a little bit of insight into what was going on there.

What was the crowd like compared to what we’re used to in New Orleans?

Mason: Pretty much a packed house, even on a Monday night against the Pelicans. These fans truly love their team, and why shouldn’t they? The Spurs haven’t been bad since Tim Duncan entered the league in 1997.

What is something that we wouldn’t know unless we were at the game?

Mason: The Spurs have a DJ spinning live in the arena, which is pretty cool. The in-game music is very solid here. The sound system in general sounds superior, too.

How was your first New Orleans basketball game in their opponent’s house?

Mason: It was a really neat environment. The AT&T center seems so dark compared to the New Orleans Arena, due in no small part to the team-colored black seats, and it definitely works.

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