Pelicans and Mavs Post Game Observations

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Published: November 1, 2014

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 109-104 in New Orleans this evening. The Pelicans came out slow letting Dallas get into the lane and free up Dirk Nowitzki and Chandler Parsons. It seemed the Mavs had this game all the way, even when New Orleans made an exciting 3rd quarter run. Much of the night saw Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis carry the load, but what was impressive was when New Orleans decided to put the ball in Tyreke Evans’ hands. When that happened things opened up.

In the final period Dallas closed things out, executing a number of very clever offensive sets. Dirk Nowitzki pretty much finished the proceedings with his patented mid-range shot to put the game beyond reach and give the Mavs the win.

Notes:

  • Anthony Davis again played an effortless game. Midway through the third he had 25 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks. You almost had to double take because it didn’t seem he was playing that well. Night in and night out Davis will carry this team. Early in the game he didn’t really have things going offensively, but he was getting scrappy rebounds and effort plays to get his points. In the third he exploded catching fire from mid-range with some nice catch and shoot attempts.
  • Eric Gordon had a brutal game. I mean it was anything but pretty: 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and four turnovers. It seemed like there was no real way for him to get going and you could tell he was frustrated as he tried to pick his spots. The problem was that anything he tried just wasn’t working. In the long-term it’ll be interesting to see how Coach Williams sets up Gordon’s game. He invariably needs the ball in his hands, but so too does Evans and Holiday. This will be a sticking point for the Pels offense moving forward.
  • Speaking of Evans he was a wrecking ball in the third quarter [[should Mylie Cyrus wrecking ball be played when Evans scores???]]. 16 pts, 3 ast, 5 reb, 1 steal all in the period (Dallas had 19 points by themselves). The most intriguing thing was witnessing his jump-shot. Tyreke hit 3 three’s on the night and a couple of mid-range jumpers. As David Fisher noted, “Evans’ shot on the catch and shoot is completely different than off the dribble. Balanced. Feet under him.” And it’s one of those perplexing aspects of his game. When he fades away he almost never makes it, but the second he starts shooting through his legs after a couple of dribbles it kind of works.
  • Outside of Ryan Anderson in the first half the New Orleans bench didn’t really contribute much of anything. Rivers was confident to begin with but then kind of fell off. Not many played big minutes, which is probably more of the point here. With Gordon struggling it was kind of odd not to see more experimenting with Fredette and Rivers.
  • The Mavericks defense can be really good at times. They were really giving the Pelicans problems with some of their sets.
  • Dirk Nowitzki is still as good as ever. I mean, there’s just no stopping him sometimes. He looks so calm and relaxed, but angry at the same time.
  • Monta Ellis was getting into the lane at will. From this, the Mavericks scored 62 points in the paint to New Orleans’ 46. Gordon was matched up on him for much of the evening which was quite surprising.
  • This leads me to probably my biggest point: pick and roll defense. For much of the game it was evident that the Pelicans just couldn’t defend the most common offensive play in the NBA. Whether it was a big man not containing the ball, guards getting stuck behind screens, going over screens, not helping the helper or just simple communication errors, New Orleans just couldn’t contain the Mavs. Even Bryan Gates at half-time noted that they needed to do a better job of containing the guards. There was no single culprit, pretty much all of the Pelicans (even Anthony Davis) just couldn’t contain this set. Figuring this out will be a top priority early in the season.
  • You know how Asik and Davis were getting a lot of those second chance points against the Magic the other night? Well Brandon Wright put a stop to that. He does the little things that coaches love by playing solid defense and making sure that when the opposition misses, it stays that way.
  • The crowd really got into in the third. 14,500 strong it was really cool watching on TV seeing all you awesome fans make some noise to help the team get back into the game. More of this!

Next game is Monday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.

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