Pelicans Win a Few Battles, But Lose the War, Yet Again

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Published: January 18, 2014

It’s becoming almost too clich√©. The Pelicans dominated for much of the first half before the opposing team went on a run and won the game rather easily. Tonight it was Anthony Davis having the monster first half while Eric Gordon struggled. The Pelicans were living at the free throw line, so that was slightly different, and they had two 4-point plays, but for the most part the script was the same.

A halftime adjustment by the opposing team completely crippled the Pelicans offense, and head scratching turnovers combined with stupid fouls doom the team. Oh, and let’s not forget the tried and true formula of neither taking or making three-point shots. It is becoming an all too familiar formula for fans of this team, and there is no reason to expect that it changes any time soon.

There were some fantastic, transcendent moments given to us by Anthony Davis. The defense played well in spurts, as did Darius Miller. But the simple truth is that this team doesn’t have the talent to beat top-tier teams. Heck, they might not have the talent to beat the low-level teams. We will find that out over the next two weeks. I don’t think anyone will be surprised if we see this same story told over and over again for the remainder of the year.

Notes and Observations

– The three-headed monster of Stiemsma-Ajinca-Withey combined for 7 points on 2-8 shooting in 38 minutes. They had 8 rebounds, which isn’t good, but it isn’t terrible. Surprisingly, just 4 fouls and zero turnovers from the trio. But the stats aren’t the whole story. They killed the team because Andrew Bogut didn’t have to cover any of them. So, he just stayed at the rim and blocked or changed every shot while swallowing up rebounds.

– Brian Roberts and Austin Rivers got 48 minutes tonight. 9 points on 3-11 shooting , but the 7:2 assist to turnover ratio wasn’t terrible. And although Curry had seven layups tonight, they both played decent defense. It was the hedging that was the problem. The bigs came out and Curry went right around them for easy layups. The point guards weren’t good. They weren’t even average. But they weren’t downright horrible. That’s a compliment!

– Eric Gordon had a terrible night from the field (3-17 overall; 0-6 from deep), but he got other guys involved early in the game – including Anthony Davis. But again, he was nowhere to be found in the second half, as a scorer or a playmaker. It will be nearly impossible for the Pelicans to win when Gordon has nights like this.

– Tyreke Evans got to the basket in the first half and was incredibly successful, but then the Warriors planted Andrew Bogut right in front of the rim and Evans couldn’t do anything but barrel his way into the paint, only to lose the ball or get his shot blocked.

– Pelicans are now 1/2 game away from having the 6th worst record in the league. If Smith, Jrue, and Ryno are shut down for a few months, the tank is real folks. Get used to it.

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