Some of My New Orleans Pelicans Claims After 5 Games

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Published: November 10, 2014

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve raised some points and made some claims about the New Orleans Pelicans. Let’s do quick check-in after 5 games, see what’s happening.

About the Spurs Game

  • Turnovers: The Pelicans did in fact keep up their protection of the ball (11 v 18 turnovers, 11% v 16% TOV%).
  • Shooting: The Pelicans, who had been shooting poorly, managed to shoot better against the Spurs, who are not exactly defensive monsters so far this season. The better shooting was also more efficient.
  • Rebounding: The Spurs have not focused on offensive rebounding much in recent years, but they cleaned up on the Pelicans, raking in an 41.5% ORB%. These rebounds lead to second chances at points. This was likely the second most important statistical issue in the game.
  • Free Throws: Free throws kept the Spurs in this game.

Overall Performance

The Pelicans’ defense is playing much better, and is top 10 by some metrics. The offense is lagging some, and there are a few possible explanations. I offered one the other night: Something is wrong with Eric Gordon.

Despite his improved performance in that game (4 of 7 from 2, 2 of 6 from 3, no FTA, 1 ORB, 3 assists, 2 steals, 3 PF in over 37m of play), he still seems to not be himself. He tries, that’s not the issue; rather, the issue is succeeding when he tries and just what he actually tries. His lack of generation of assists could be his role, but he’s not getting to the line, which is something he’s done better in the past. Also, he’s not finishing near the rim the way he used to. These facts, could be related. Couple this with airballing longer shots on the short side (he’s only shooting Gordon-well from medium range), just as he did when his knee was recovering prior to last season, and I see issues.

Again, this is based purely on watching him play and studying the numbers. I hope I am wrong here, and Gordon has a great season. The Spurs game could very well just a small step on the way to much more significant demonstrations of his current prowess.

Next up, the Cavaliers in Cleveland.

Join us a Tracey’s for the game. The broadcast will start at 6 p.m. CT, but you can join some of the writers there in the 5 o’clock hour. Each of our parties was fun last season, and this season, of course, stands to be much better. Also, wings.

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