Observations: Pelicans @ Blazers

Published: November 17, 2014

For the second time this season, the Pelicans held all the cards through the first three quarters – and then sputtered in the fourth and lost the game.  Really – the Blazers didn’t change their defense much – it’s just that the Pelican guards started missing.  I mentioned in the game preview that the Blazers drop back on pick and rolls and stay home on shooters.  They did that all game long.  Early on, the Pels were using that to get to the rim for easy ones – and if there was a miss, they got offensive rebounds.  In the fourth, as the Blazers stuck to the rolling Davis like glue, Jrue and Tyreke started taking open 10-foot shots or contested layups on the move, and Aldridge and Lopez kept Davis off the glass.

And the Pels missed.  A lot.  And on the other side, the Blazers hit shots and took advantage of their size over an Anderson-Davis frontcourt.  The Pels really did miss Asik a lot in this game.

Other Observations:

  • Tyreke started going nuts in the third.  It’s hard to enjoy it quite so thoroughly since the game was a loss, but Tyreke was brilliant for a while – and then started hitting pull up jumpers.  It was ridiculous.
  • Gordon had a good game going in the first half.  He apparently played in the second.  I think.  Not sure I remember seeing him.
  • Kaman was a bull in the middle until New Orleans suddenly remembered he’s extremely turnover prone.  Once they started attacking his dribble, he was pulled.  Of course, that was AFTER he’d scored 15 on 10 shots.
  • Ajinca wasn’t the wreck I was expecting.  He had stretches of bad, and stretches of good.  Good enough for your fourth big.
  • Jeff Withey just had stretches of bad.  Dude wanted to block everything.  He was pump-faked into the rafters about 87-million times.
  • Davis’ double block of Aldridge and Matthews in the third was nuts.  He also should have gotten the ball more in the fourth when that pick and roll up top kept failing.  It’s nice to think Jrue and Tyreke from 5-10 feet is a good shot, but it’s not.
  • Oh, and Davis had 31 pts on 20 shots, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 blocks, 3 steals, 0 turnovers.  All he needed was a little help, not 16-48 shooting from the guards/wings.

This team is young, and what it needs to do is figure out how to win games on the road still.  Tonight, they had a win on the road, and they let it slip through their fingers.  Hopefully the can bounce back tomorrow night against the Kings.



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