Pelicans’ late run comes up short in overall flat effort vs. Wizards

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Published: January 8, 2014

For about 3 1/2 quarters, the game tonight was borderline unwatchable. For the remaining six minutes, things got a little interesting, but the Pelicans never really had a chance to steal the game back from the Wizards. The Pelicans were done in by poor defensive rotations resulting in multiple wide open three pointers for players such as Bradley Beal and Contract Year Trevor Ariza. Though Washington only totaled 13 second chance points, the majority of them seemed to come in one key stretch in the second quarter that put New Orleans behind by an amount from which they would never recover. Offensively, it was the same old Ryan Anderson-less story: too many missed shots at the rim and too few 3-point attempts. Overall, this game was a very frustrating one that won’t be easily forgotten by some fans. Some other game notes:

  • Jan Vesely scored 12 points on 6-7 shooting and totaled 7 rebounds. His season averages are 3.2 points and 3.8 rebounds. He is also shooting under 30% from the free throw line. But hey, let’s allow him to get uncontested tip-ins and alley-oops, right Greg Stiemsma?
  • I haven’t reviewed the game film yet, but the amount of layups that Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans missed tonight was brutal. Some were certainly contested, but either find a way to draw the foul or kick it out to an open teammate if the Wizards are so blatantly collapsing on drives. Speaking of…
  • Anyone else notice how many times you could count all five Wizards defenders right around the paint? Man, it would really help to open up the lane if the Pelicans would shoot and knock down some threes… unfortunately, they only attempted 8 three pointers in the game’s first 44 minutes. Anderson attempts that many threes by himself sometimes. Hell, the Wizards MADE more than that in the same stretch. If this Pelicans team doesn’t space the floor better, they’ll continue to see defenses pack the paint and bait them into bad mid-range jumpers.
  • The Pelicans missed just one more shot than the Warriors, yet collected 9 fewer rebounds. Not exactly a recipe for success.
  • In the final minute of this game, Anthony Davis drained an open corner 3. If he can find and hit that shot with any sort of consistency – especially this early in his career – watch out.

The Pelicans welcome the Mavericks to town on Friday night for the first of two consecutive games against Dallas. Hopefully they can start to turn things around then.

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