Melo Carries Knicks to 98-91 Victory over Pelicans

Another night of questionable rotations for New Orleans, and another loss. In this game, both teams’ best and most efficient scorers averaged between 1.4 and 1.45 points per field goal attempt; the difference was that the winning team’s top option (Carmelo Anthony) took 29 shots and the losing team’s top option (Anthony Davis) attempted just 10 shots. Furthermore, the losing team’s best scorer for the night (Eric Gordon) played under 4 minutes in the fourth quarter while Carmelo played 9. Despite the Knicks’ inability to score at the rim this season, the Pelicans still did not pay close enough attention to the 3-point line, as Prigioni, Smith, & Hardaway Jr. combined to make 8 out of 13 attempts from that distance tonight. All that doesn’t even take into account the utter lack of floor spacing deployed by the Pelicans during stretches throughout the night. The result was a Pelicans loss to start out the second half of the season… in a home game against a team 13 games under .500 on the second night of a back-to-back. I’m going to go straight to a look at the pregame keys to victory before I start throwing things.

  1. Space the floor. While the Pelicans didn’t perform particularly well from long range (33.3%), it wasn’t for lack of trying, as they attempted 21 shots from that distance. Many of their attempts were contested, so kudos to New York for playing better perimeter defense than usual.
  2. Win the free throw battle. The Pelicans attempted 21 free throws compared to the Knicks’ 20 (both teams made 14), but given the two teams’ prior tendencies, one would have hoped for a larger disparity in favor of New Orleans. Anthony and Gordon combined for 20 of the game’s 41 free throw attempts
  3. Don’t settle early in the shot clock. The Pelicans could have done worse here – they made over half (28/54) of their 2-pointers tonight, including 42 points in the paint (the Knicks were allowing 38.7 points in the paint per game entering  tonight’s game). The bigger issues for the Pelicans tonight came on the defensive end.

Pelicans are in Charlotte on Friday night to take on the Bobcats, a game which will be far less of a pushover than it has been in previous years. Tune in, as it should be a good match-up.

16 responses to “Melo Carries Knicks to 98-91 Victory over Pelicans”

  1. no lie im tired of da same shit its crazy he is not even tryin to see people can back up wit numbers nd u can see visual in tape study dat certain lineups works nd nd dnt work wen is  monty goin to improve because I kno everyone cnt be greg pop but he was under his teaching but its crazy nd we all notice dis but Babbitt is better than aminu nd we all see this I liked wat he did early in da season wen he was experimenting wit lineups some work nd some didn’t no lie jrue may b coming back this week but wat we will see is Roberts getting rivers mins nd everyone complaining dat da second unit sucks. whitey and millers both disappear im ashame to say dis I  think for us to trade rivers I think its time for him to go to another team and succeed I feel rivers will become a superstar we will just look at monty nd say fuck it

  2. It was obvious that Chandler was a man among boys.  They only gave him 11 rebounds, but he was controlling the boards. 
    Tyreke reaked.  2 of 6 free throws, 3 of 11 shooting including several lazy long 2s when other options were available, and the ususal missed point-blank shots.  What is more troubling is his lack of intensity on either end, after a nice long rest.  Stupid fouls resulted.  I was giving him the benefit of the doubt due to his ankle problems, but no more.   He and Stiemsma were on the floor for the big run that got us back into the game, but I didn’t see either do anything outstanding.   I credit Tyreke with this loss.
    Why zero Withey or Miller?   Why?  Why?   I’ll be pissed if we trade Withey….
    Babbit surprisd me with decent defense on Melo.  Davis was better, but as soon as he failed once, we went away from using him there.  Big mistake.   Too late in trying it, and too soon abandoning it.
    We got called for several moving screens, while Knicks had zero.  I saw Chandler literally run through one of his that put our guy on the ground.   About 1/10 of the Knicks push-offs and hooks on their offensive end got called.   IMO, this is how the refs subtly influence the game to favor who the league wants to win.   No free-throw disparity, just turnovers….

  3. After every player except AD23 had a week off, this game against the Knicks was imminently winnable for the Pelicans.  But the play of 4 men (Ajinca, Evans, Roberts & Babbitt) was HORRIBLE through the 1st 3 quarters.  Stunningly bad.  Aminu barely missed making this list, but only because of his rebounding.  Though Aminu’s normally a solid defender, Carmelo made him look like a schoolboy.  How players can come out of a break and play so atrociously for the first 3 quarters of a home game is stunning.  Eric Gordon looked like he was playing for a trade during the first 3 quarters, but then he spent the first 7 minutes of the 4th riding the stationary bike and failed to do anything at all (did he even touch the ball?) when he finally entered again towards the end of the game, when the team needed him the most.  Walking out of the newly named the “Smoothie King Center” for the very first time, I began to seriously question whether I might actually decline to renew my tickets next season.  Ugh.  The only good thing about last night was seeing Jrue Holiday walking around and sitting with his teammates.

  4. I didn’t expect the Pels to win this game.  Whenever the Pels play a team with a scorer, I just assume loss.  I short changed Melo figuring he’d go for 30+, well it was 40.  Poor defense, but the coach continually tells me it isn’t his fault.  It’s the players.  Ok, same old song.  The only time the Pels stopped..errr slowed Melo was when they trapped/doubled him with Rivers.  Coach saw no need for that in the 4th as he took over the game. 
    Now I hope to get through today without a stupid trade.  One of those trades just to make a trade deals.  I will be upset if Rivers is dealt.  His potential is higher than his trade value.
    Tyreke wasn’t interested.  I don’t expect coach to talk to him about his role/effort out there.
    For the remainer of the season, bury Aminu on the bench.  Past Withey’s spot.  No point in playing a guy with no future with the franchise.  Start “Bobbitt”.

  5. Gordon was in the zone last night, hitting every shot he took, and not only does he not play for almost the entire 4th quarter, but for the last few minutes he was in, they didn’t run a single play for him.  We pay this guy a max contract and don’t even use him!!  What were the Knicks doing with their max contract guy?  Carmelo had the ball in his hands every possession at the end of the game.  I can see going with other options if Eric’s off or cold, but the guy was having his best scoring night of the year (maybe not final points, but certainly by the eye test).  I was really disgusted by that loss, because we should have won.  Carmelo Anthony air balls a shot in the clutch and we fumble away the rebound and the Knicks score.  Game over.

    Please don’t trade Austin Rivers.  He’s finally starting to play well, and if we trade him at this point, we’ll regret it.  Personally, I don’t think we should trade anybody at this point.  If the season is cooked, we should hold on to all of these guys and make trades next year when their value is higher.

    I’m still sick about that game.  Why do I even watch the Pelicans?  I be better taking my $60 and paying some guy to kick me in the nuts.

  6. Pelsdachamps You have to better than that.  I’d love to hear how a guy that played 19 minutes lost the game.  Continue on…

  7. Carmelo’s ability to score 42 points in a game somehow came as a surprise?  Prior to last night, his team had won only 8 road games all season.  If only a couple of the Pelicans players who decided they would stink up the court for most of the game had decided to start playing before the 4th quarter, and if Eric Gordon had the stamina to play a full game instead of riding the bike most of the 4th quarter, then Melo’s scoring outburst could have easily been negated.

  8. NOEngineer We didn’t go away from AD – the knicks ran high pick and rolls to force a switch.  The Pelicans chose to switch on those pick and rolls to keep Carmelo from getting a step towards the basket during the screen.  They decided Babbitt being iso’d was better than Carmelo getting up a head of steam before AD could get back in front of him.  I’m not sure which choice I’d take.

    This part isn’t directed at you NOEngineer, just peeps here in general – let’s not be blinded by the results.  Carmelo took a bunch of stupid shots last night.  I counted at 13 stand-still pull-up jumpers where he took no steps, just did head fakes, jab steps, then rose up and fired from about 16 feet.  This is what you WANT opposing players to do.  he usually shoots 39% from there.  Last night, he made more than he missed.  That’s not bad defense, that’s just “shit happens’.

  9. Dude the guy should have made the shot instead of passing it to Gordon.You can’t panic like that you’ve to remeber the Pels was down by one.

  10. This is the truth this team need muscle at SF Aminu aint worth the time against Melo,Lebron or even Gordon Hayward for crying out loud.


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