Shorthanded Pelicans Dropped by Mavericks

The news that Jrue Holiday would be out indefinitely with a stress fracture carried with it the assumption that the Pelicans would be a pretty bad team until he got back. And tonight, that’s what we saw.

I don’t want to get overly critical of our performance tonight, though it would be fairly easy to. This team already hurt for depth, and without Jrue, the Pelicans lack the means to facilitate offense effectively. Sure, certain players had outbursts of scoring, but 18 turnovers vs. 15 assists told the story that the Pelicans just couldn’t get everyone involved. More importantly, the defense took yet another step back without Jrue, as the Pelicans struggled all night to contain the Mavericks, who went a scorching 14-28 from deep. Conversely, the Pelicans shot 3 for 7. Yikes.

It’s going to be rough with the roster as it is, so expectations must be adjusted. There were, however, some positives from the game tonight. Here are some general notes and observations from tonight, most of which are positive.

1. Eric Gordon went off for 27 points on 9-13 shooting. He was electric in the first half, but disappeared in the early 3rd quarter. He made his first 2nd half look with 3 minutes to go and then hit a jumper right after that.. and then was subbed out. Morrow was substituted for him, and I’m not sure why that wasn’t changed. I’m of the belief that you leave in scorers when they’re hot. I’m not sure it would have made a difference for the final result though, as the Pelicans were just playing a better team.

2. Austin Rivers got a lot of minutes early by default, as Roberts had to be subbed out with 2 early fouls. While Rivers was not perfect, I thought he played very well. 12 points on 6-11 shooting, 4 assists, a steal, and only one turnover for AR25.

3. Anthony Davis hoisted up 19 shots on the night. With the Pelicans lacking firepower, this is a great time to let AD experiment with his own offense. There is nothing like game experience to test your repertoire, and he got some looks tonight. He also recorded 5 blocks (one from blocking a Dirk jumper!!) and 2 steals (including another clean pick of a guard). Most importantly, he walked off the court healthy. I don’t know if I can take another injury.

4. Tyreke Evans only played 9 minutes of the night, and though I haven’t gone back and watched, I would imagine that he was benched because he wasn’t playing with intensity. He had a pretty bad turnover and jogged back as a Maverick beat him and Gordon to the basket in transition. If the effort was as poor as I remember, I am in full support of the benching. I don’t care if you’re 0-40 or 40-0: you should want to clean up your mistakes. [Edit: Monty Williams said after the game that Tyreke re-injured his ankle, and that is why he didn’t play]

5. Jason Smith went down after toppling over on a charge and stayed down for a minute or two. He returned to the game and it appears everything is fine.




34 responses to “Shorthanded Pelicans Dropped by Mavericks”

  1. Evans hurt his ankle again. Glad to see Smith came back in the game. When it rains it pours. This team lacks intensity!! You got to blame part of that on the coaching staff. To say Monty suppose to be a defensive coach, I don’t see that resonating to his players. After watching this staff I have come to the conclusion there MUST be some changes. I would suggest they place a call to Avery Johnson , immediately.

  2. Not overly critical? I’m not trying to be an ass here, but why is the only real website with analysis of the team pussyfooting around the issue that our coach is an absolute moron? You pretty much put the box score into words.
    We have a guy that is pretty much good for 20/10/4 every single night and we can’t even expect to be competitive? This is getting out of hand. Quit making excuses and act like real journalists.
    For those that didn’t get to see the game that are curious.
    -Davis played hard all game. Bless this man’s heart. He was the best player on the floor tonight.
    -Roberts played like crap on both ends of the floor.
    -Rivers played great in the 1st quarter, awful, and I mean awful, in the 2nd quarter, and pretty well in the 2nd half. It really wasn’t debatable who was better tonight. He bad a gorgeous one handed dunk tonight. It really was the definition of smooth.
    -Steimsma started the 2nd half despite doing nothing in the first half. Literally nothing. He can’t rebound, he can’t defend, and he’s even worse on offense. 
    -Gordon balled out when the Mavs/Monty let him.
    -Withey played well in limited minutes, begging the question why we continue to see so much of Steimsma.
    -Evans couldn’t care less and got benched. Monty made up an excuse post-game.
    -Morrow got time and did nothing with it again.
    -Miller continues to look serviceable…again…no answer for why
    -Ajinca got benched. Monty did not make up an excuse post-game.
    -Aminu reverted back to old Aminu. Non-factor on either end.
    -Smith was pretty bad, at least he had the injury excuse.
    Poor defensive rotations coupled with our seeming insistence on attempting to trap every pick and roll for a second too long led to entirely to many open threes. Why we continue to help defenders that are holding their own without the help doesn’t make sense. Our offense, or whatever one would like to call it, didn’t really resemble much of anything. Without Gordon’s hyper-efficiency, Davis’ hustle, and Rivers getting to the rim, we lose by 30+ easily.

  3. HawnitsFanatic a lot of what you say has merit. But I am sympathetic to the site’s efforts at restraint. I think it would be really easy to give in to the headhunting attitude many of the posters display. Agitating for people’s jobs as the main fan site has real world repercussions, I respect the caution.
    But I no longer expect Monty back next year. Stan Van Gundy FTW.

  4. mateor I feel you and I have been sympathetic too up to this point. It’s not headhunting anymore. This is year 4. The game/effort tonight was downright pathetic. Why does Monty get a pass when every single player on the team does not? A 15-20 team got boo’d by some of the home crowd at the end of tonight’s game. We had a guy go 21/13/5 and another go 27 on 12 shots and the game wasn’t even close. If that sounds like a joke, it’s not. 
    I don’t understand it. This site and some of it’s mods can basically blast Eric Gordon for the better part of 3 years and we can’t get an honest opinion on our head coach? This is maddening. Monty gets excuse after excuse with no accountability. I really like Dell Demps and think that the amount of talent he’s amassed since he came in is a minor miracle. But he is doing the exact same thing this site is doing: refusing to face reality and judge the head coach on his body of work.

  5. I hate to say this….but right now I think its time to tank…give rivers and withey the minute they deserved and please no more steismma…

  6. HawnitsFanatic That why I say the coaching staff is doing a horrible job ,especially defensively.
    Their help defense on players already guarded is just stupid. I wonder if they have firm sessions? They can’t, because I see the players doing the same stupid defensive reactions over and over again. I forget what game it was, last week, a opponent  was at the top of the right key, he picked up his dribble, the guard moved in closer, then the other player left his man to double him. The  player that they were doubling just through the ball to the now open player for a uncontested 3, that he drained! I was screaming at the TV.

  7. mojart They can’t really tank, when everybody gets back they will win too many games against the East. They aren’t that bad. Coaching and certain personnel decisions are the problem. I can’t understand why Roberts is getting more minutes then Rivers. They need to find out if he is worth keeping. Aminu has to go. Steimsma, why is he in the NBA ? Miller, the mandate is shoot the damn ball or try doing something else for a living.

  8. I’m sympathetic to the argument that Monty has in a way always coached under various limitations, and while its easy to get frustrated, especially when our patience and expectations have not been rewarded in our grand re-brand year, but compounded by a terrible batch of injuries.  

    It’s my opinion that Monty has found himself once again a victim of circumstance, no one can stay in the lineup long enough to really cohesively defend or learn the schemes , His rotations have been terrible , albeit in an abstract way since injuries have constantly shifted pieces in and out essentially at random.  I don’t know who is the right coach for this team , not on paper or in it’s best form but in it’s current form,  what does George Karl really do for a Roberts/Gordon/Aminu/Davis/Ajinca starting squad ?  

    Monty is more of our experience than apart from it, overwhelmed, confused and disappointed in the way this season has played out.  Maybe his defense is too complicated for the kiddos, maybe every complaint anyone has had this season is true, I just think its still too strained of a situation to judge a coach too harshly .

    What we can agree on is what has to happen from this point forward 

    Rivers > Roberts  ( I was actually sitting behind a season ticket holder at the wizards game , who was advocating the opposite believe it or not , a rare bird in deed ) 

    Steimsma faze out 

    Davis 20 or more shots a game , and many more touches in general in the half-court 

    Gordon showcase ——–> Gordon send off 

    everyone has their own hopes but these are the big ones. 
    This whole conversation is a huge bummer,  when was the Trailblazers game 8 days ago ?

  9. I don’t know if Monty is the right coach for this team, but I’m not calling for his head after this game. Outside of the finishing five, we’re pretty atrocious. Take out, in my opinion, the second and third best players of that group in addition to the limit of Evan’s minutes and it would be foolish to expect a great game. I do question him playing Roberts over Rivers and not playing Miller more, but I’ll give him a season with this group if it ever gets healthy before I decide. And I certainly don’t want a has been coach that could never get a team over the hump like George Karl.

  10. You cannot tank, not now. This is a critical year both on and off he court for this franchise. Expectations have been rised, investments made. You tank now and you may permanently damage the team in the eyes of its fans. Last year, okay maybe you tank. Not now.

  11. Give up fellows, it’s time to go to bed. Got a big day later today. Go Saints! Pray for Harper and White; that’s is what it will take for them not to screw-up.

  12. Right now seeing that game made me think of one word: depressing. Its pretty depressing that this team is lazy with their defensive rotations and not drawing fouls in the paint.  The second unit is awful without Anderson and Evans. Yes, I can give the benefit of the doubt Monty dealing with another year with the injury bug, but even with that the same mistakes are being made time and time again.  

    On the offensive end, Smith has a bad habit on moving his feet too early when setting up a pick. Second of all, where is the ball movement? I’m sorry if the Pels do not penetrate the paint, defenses will pick them apart via doubles and zones. Also, TAKE CARE OF THE BALL AND LIMIT THE NUMBER OF TURNOVERS.

    I have a bad feeling if the Pels do not improve on their record from last season (27-55), then this season will be a complete fail. A lot of changes need to happen for this team to compete in this BRUTAL West.

  13. Can anyone explain to me why a coach would pull the best player on the court during the 3rd quarter during a 6-0 run after the opposing team calls a time out Gordon was shooting well over 60% and wasn’t getting plays called for him if the end game is to trade him wouldn’t you want him to have a few 40 pt games under his belt to increase his value I believe he went 9-12 he should had atleast had 18-20 shot attempts by the end of the game

  14. HawnitsFanatic So, if our guys just start typing up -‘Fire Monty’, they are good journalists? 
    We have listed numerous suggestions that obviously show we don’t agree with all Monty does – From my piece showing why Jrue and Tyreke should play together more to numerous pieces on poor shot selection and questionable defensive strategy. We cover everything and do it with facts, stats, etc. Not emotional opinions. 
    The easy thing to do is just say “Fire this guy” but we actually take the time to do much more than that. We show what is wrong in a very detailed way and let readers arrive at their own conclusions as to where to go from there. Thats what real journalists do in my opinion.

  15. ericsnow The Mavs started aggressively trapping EG in the mid-2nd quarter.  Got the ball out of his hands.  It was usually the big who was guarding Jason Smith.  They would run that “blitz trap” that Miami uses, then big would get back.  The EG would dribble out of the trap, and the guard would crowd him and the big would help as soon as EG picked a side.  Great adjustment by Dallas, something that we don’t see very often from our team.
    That sub at the end of the third was absolutely the most frustrating thing for me.  We had cut the lead to 13 or 14 I think, and then they take EG out and boom:  back to 20.  That kind of stuff is the stuff that drives me nuts about Monty.  Also the fact that he ignores the 3 point line on both ends of the court.  14 3pt FGs to 3?  Awful.

  16. How is it humanly possible for Brian Roberts to start an NBA game as a point guard, play 25 minutes and only get one assist?  Mr. 5 thumbs Anthony Morrow somehow got 2 assists in 11 minutes, and Stiemsma (yes, Stiemsma!) tied Roberts with 1 assist but played less than half of Roberts’ minutes and barely touched the ball.  Up until last night, it seemed some of the criticism of Roberts was overdone (esp. since he was playing a very limited role), but now with Jrue Holiday sidelined it’s obvious this man impacts the team negatively.  It’s now time to go all-in with Austin Rivers (he’s really been a huge disappointment so far in his two seasons, but at least he knows how to pass the damn ball!), cut ties with Brian and start a new experiment with Pierre Jackson.

  17. That 3rd was awful. You’re struggling offensively and you don’t find a way to get Gordon the hot hand any iso on one side the floor. Then Gordon has a 6-0 run by himself and is immediately taken out. In what world is that a good decision. And of course the quarter started with the instant lose combo of Roberts and Steimsma. A coach can’t control a lot of things but, he can control lineups and rotations. That has been awful.

  18. It’s time get rid of Monty as coach Loomis & Lausha in the front office and stick with the Saints and get a NBA guy in the front office like Steve Kerr or Avery Johnson or Donnie Walsh

  19. Michael McNamara Look Mac, I follow you on Twitter and I actually like that you’re vocal on that median regarding our coach. Am I telling you to write a “Fire Monty” column? Not in the slightest. Last night’s game was one of the worst coached games we’ve seen this season. The rotations were chaotic, Monty insisted on playing the players that were ineffective that he’s insisted on playing all season, and we just plain sucked with our defensive scheme.
    Saying I’m not going to be “overly critical” regarding the game is taking the easy way out. This was one of Monty’s worst games as a coach, showcasing almost every aspect of his coaching that is a failure. He needed to be called out in that recap. 
    All I’m asking for is evaluations on our team as a whole when these things are written. And to be honest, I’m not even directing this at you as your recaps are more in depth as a whole than most.
    Anyone that cared enough to come to this site and see a recap of the game that didn’t get to watch didn’t even come close to seeing the whole picture of what happened.
    We are all frustrated, and I know I have no clue if there are “unwritten rules” regarding your media credentials and the team. 
    Where was there any “showing us what’s wrong” in this particular recap? I’m not saying my writing or English is anywhere near the level of your writers, but that long ass post didn’t take me very long to write. 
    People come here to hear opinions from people that follow the team as their job and digest them. This was lazy.

  20. I saw the blitz traps that were set every time he would dish it out to another player they would shoot a missed jump shot instead of taking a easy dunk would had cut our lead down to way less then 13 if we trade Gordon with in the next month I dont believe we would win 1 game Until holiday returns

  21. Come On Pelican how do you call someone a disappoint when they coaching staff gives hime barely any playing time? FOH

  22. Monty admitted that he didn’t know how to coach Evans at first you think he figured out how to coach Gordon yet its been 3 seasons and Gordon haven’t put up many 30+ games which we all know he’s capable of doing

  23. Give up your man crush on Rivers, sport.  Obviously, the team should have passed on Austin with the 10th pick and should have taken Jeremy Lamb or Kendall Marshall instead.

  24. ericsnow We don’t need more shooting (right now), we need defense. We can have as many shooter as we want, but if none of them play denfense the end resuly will be the same. A lose. Playing defense will turn into easy offense.

  25. I appreciate your detailed feedback.
    I think we tend to try and talk about or point out things that you might not see elsewhere or read and discuss elsewhere.
    Monty makes mistakes, but players often admit in interviews that the coaching staff pounds the same things in their head that all the fans are clamoring for, but the players just don’t carry it out. Listen to Austin’s interview last night, for example.
    Is he a good coach? I can’t find any evidence to say yes to that. But is the majority of this season his fault? I don’t think so, and I can’t find evidence to support that conclusion

  26. HawnitsFanatic Michael McNamara I think you mistake my being lazy for a change in perspective. At this point, my goal for the season is player/core development. To be overly critical of players and combinations that I don’t think will be here long-term doesn’t make much sense to me. Because, right now, if I wrote the recap in the way you wanted, every game would be “the rotations were terrible,” “we were beaten up on the defensive boards,” “we don’t shoot 3s,” and “we don’t have enough talent to win right now.” I don’t like beating a dead horse. You think I wasn’t pissed off watching the game? You think I’m not pissed off that we have to endure another season like this? Because I am. I just try to remain relatively positive because some fans need that. I’m not trying to spin my recaps to say that we’re the best thing since sliced bread. I’m simply trying to highlight some of the good things that I saw in the game.
    I appreciate your passion, but I do spend a good bit of my time researching and trying to get my message across in the right way, and to hear that I’m “lazy” is frustrating. You mention that “people come here to hear opinions from people that follow the team as their job.” This isn’t my job. I’m an MBA student.

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