Pelicans storm back on Jazz

Published: December 16, 2014

I felt like someone had kicked me in the gut with 11 minutes to go in the game and the Pelicans down 14 to the Jazz.  Up to that point, it had all the hallmarks of a trap game gone wrong,  The Pelicans were playing sloppy and had 7(!) turnovers in the first quarter and 11 in the half, nearly matching their average number for a whole game.  Every 50-50 ball was going to the Jazz as the Pelicans were out-hustled.  A Random bad shooter started going off. (Trey Burke is shooting 36.5% from the field this year)

And then the Pelicans ran like crazy, made defensive plays like crazy, the crowd went crazy and the Pelicans had 4 empty possessions the rest of the game.  Final 119-112.

Ahhh.  What a relief.


  • I’m declaring Evans’ struggles at the rim to be over.  Last year he sucked at the start of the year, getting into shape, fighting through a lingering training camp injury.  This season it’s the same thing.  He had problems in training camp and struggled to round into form.  Dude is now the sickest kind of bowling ball headed to the rim.
  • The Jazz broadcast team – who were killing the Pelicans’ guards through three and a half quarters – just couldn’t keep it up with Tyreke.  On that sick play when Tyreke went behind his back to dodge a blitzing Exum, and then shouldered Exum all the way from halfcourt to the basket for the hoop and harm, one of them just let out a rueful little laugh and a “Tyreke is amazing in the open floor.”  Agreed.
  • Holiday started the game on Alec Burks – who clearly the Pelicans considered more dangerous.  Trey Burke went 5-5 on Tyreke and Jimmer for 15 points in the first quarter.  Holiday switched to Burke and the former Michigan star ended the game with 16 points.
  • Jrue is a little bit of a foul machine, but I don’t care at all.  He is a competitive psycho defensively and he’ll put his body in front of anybody, no matter how big.  At one point in the fourth Enes Kanter was rumbling full speed at the basket after slipping a pick and roll and Holiday flew in from the side, leapt in the air and got tossed six feet as Kanter barrels into him.  But he stopped the dunk and Kanter missed a free throw!  Love it.
  • Kanter was an interesting case tonight.  In the pick and roll he was brutal to stop.  Great at getting to the rim and even better at cleaning up misses from the ballhandler as he earned 6 offensive rebounds.  However, he unleashed a pack of awesome moves on iso post attacks and . . . they produced 2 points on 8 shots.  I don’t know if his touch is better normally, but he could have been a MONSTER, not just a handful.
  • Speaking of monsters, AD with 31 points on 15 shots.   Damn.  I’m just stopping there before I have an efficiencygasm and have to cuddle the boxscore.
  • Anderson is a shooter.  Shooters are streaky.  He followed 2-15 with 10-15 and six threes.  God I love it when he’s on.  He’s the only reason the Pelicans stayed in reach through the first half.
  • Rivers had a solid game – and Monty gave him extended play in the fourth in a three-guard lineup with Evans and Holiday.  Despite giving up some serious size, his defense on Alec Burks and Gordon Hayward was better than what Dante was doing.  Dante played hard, but didn’t have the foot speed to chase those two.
  • Withey and Jimmer each had nice moments.  Withey’s post defense was really good, but every time one of those shots missed, he never got the rebound.  I mean never.  He got zero rebounds in 13 minutes.
  • The Pelicans defense still has moments of being really, really bad defending the pick and roll.  Too often Pelican players not named Asik stay home on the screener and don’t help bump the driving player.  This could be by design, but it means someone should come from the weakside and bump the ballhandler and that’s not happening either.  Somebody needs to bump someone fellas.

Next game is Thursday against in Houston.  Watch Party!


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