Moleskin Moments: Cavaliers vs. Pelicans, Meat Pies and Cheese Fries

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Published: November 11, 2014

Bourbon Street Shots hosted our first watch party of the season at Tracey’s. Tracey’s is a great sponsor and a better po-boy shop/bar (many years ago, they were one of my first po-boys, and on the same street where I used to play basketball.) I walked into the game at halftime, emulating the casual fan that only watches the last two minutes of the game (or however that depiction of said fan goes). Here are observations from the game.

  • The game was 56-51 at the half. It is nice to walk into a bar and see your team winning. And for the Miami in me, seeing certain small forwards on Cleveland losing (Shawn Marion).
  • Eric Gordon spent most of the time after practice open to the press last week working on his baseline three-point shot, and he got two quick ones to start the half. One went straight in, the other in and out. Was good to see him put some work in and reap some benefits. Also, we’re a much better team with him playing well.
  • Demographics display: Points in the paint stat shows the Cavs outscoring the Pelicans 42-24 in the paint. Which is the graphics guy’s way of saying the Pelicans stopped attacking the Cavs defense.
  • But seriously, the Pelicans really did stop attacking that porous defense.
  • The Cavs end the third quarter on a 16-1 run (just over 4 minutes).
  • The run increases to 22-5 (around 6 minutes total), making the game 91-83, Cavs leading.
  • Meat pies and cheese fries. I now catch myself intrigued by my bar neighbor’s food. It may be that it’s delicious (thanks sponsor) or it may be that the Pelicans are losing.
  • Kevin Love was wide open, like Moses open, for four straight three point shots in the fourth. He made three of them. The lack of discipline on Love was disconcerting. No matter what the Pelicans’ pick and roll defense or rebounding philosophy is, a new set of rules has to be developed for a player like Love, and the team’s inability to make or adhere to those rules falls at the feet of Coach Monty Williams. (Love finished the game making 5 of 8 three pointers.)
  • Omer Asik made back-to-back field goals off offensive rebounds. On the second make, he was walking back and the feed went out. Apparently no one can see Asik smile.
  • On the other end, I think I will always remember Gordon via his patented hands outstretched, shrug and squint maneuver when he is called for any foul. Like how he did against the Spurs on Saturday at the worst of times, and a few times in the third and fourth of this game.
  • Is it a foregone conclusion that Anthony Davis will average 20/10 this year?
  • While I am amenable to mixing up matchups on defense, today’s seem to greatly fail. By putting Jrue Holiday on LeBron James, they allowed the team to see an obvious plan of attack, something that allowed what has been a skittish offense to focus on a weakness in the defense. Secondly, it took Jrue Holiday off of Kyrie Irving (who scored 27 points in the second half). Also, putting Davis on Love late in the game only took Davis away from the basket, as opposed to having him cover Tristan “No Range” Thompson. This allowed James to take his time while posting up our point guard.

All in all, the Pelicans hung around and played a good game with a team that has elite talent, but hasn’t put it all together. Cleveland is a hostile place to play, and the Pelicans were underdogs coming in. After beating the Spurs in San Antonio, they can leave this situation happy. But this game did bring some issues to the forefront. The Pelicans once again had too big a lull on offense when the starters were taken out of the game. Also, the lack of small forward on the team was obviously going to be a problem when playing against the Cavs, but other teams with big wings may start focusing on this. In the end, the Pelicans continue to make good strides, and it will be interesting to see how the return home treats the team.

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