Pelicans Are The Pelicans, Lose To The Knicks 99-92

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Published: January 19, 2015

Were you expecting something else? The Pelicans streak of alternating wins and losses continues with a bad road loss against a 5 win Knicks team. A team that has lost 16 straight games. Two nights after losing to the nearly-openly tanking 76ers. A few nights after losing to a Celtics team which may not win 5 more games for the rest of the season.

Yes, the team was missing Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday, and Ryan Anderson was non-existent for 3 quarters. But they were also playing a Knicks team starting Lou Amundson and undrafted Langston Galloway. Lance Thomas (another former New Orleans player) played 22 minutes. It’s not like the Knicks were boasting a roster filled with All-Stars and tremendous role players.

It all adds to the consistently inconsistent moniker which has been applied to the Pelicans over the past two or so weeks. High and lows. Peaks and valleys. A comeback win against the Raptors followed by a flat performance against the worst team in the league. Beat Memphis; lose to Philly. Fans are upset; some are content. Some scream for blood and others preach patience. It all leads to a 20-21 record. Slightly below .500 for the Pelicans. Which seems about right.

Observations

–Have to start with Ryan Anderson. For three quarters he was absolutely killing the Pelicans. His shot just wouldn’t fall and he went 1 for 6 from deep. What’s maddening about him is that there is no consistency to his misses. Some were short and some were long. It could be he’s still not in a groove coming off his injury but you’d figure halfway through the year that wouldn’t be the case. At this point I’m starting to wonder if it’s a mental issue. Is he over thinking his shots?

Regardless, what he needs to do when he isn’t shooting well is score in other ways. Try and take the ball inside. Or focus on rebounding. Something. Anything to stop from hurting the team as he did for three quarters tonight. But he did come alive in the fourth and was one of the reasons the Pelicans clawed their way back.

–Eric Gordon looks like a different player since coming back from injury. He hit multiple threes again tonight and if the Pelicans want to compete for a playoff spot that’ll be a big part. Tonight he was attacking, but he has also been working better off the ball when Davis and Holiday are on the court as well. If he can do that consistently and work to get open for three this offense could rank in the top 5.

–You can see how much this defense relies on Holiday in one single stat: 4 turnovers for the Knicks. Holiday’s defense at the point of attack makes it easier for teammates to get in position defensively. His long arms force guards to make sloppier passes. Hopefully he’s healthy on Wednesday.

–I liked the Pelicans doubling Carmelo Anthony when he got the ball. Melo is a volume shooter but only took 15 shots tonight because he simply couldn’t get good looks. But if that’s the strategy you have to make sure you don’t lose track of shooters behind the arc. That’s what happened when Calderon hit his dagger three.

–Did Alexis Ajinca play in the first half? Because he was basically a ghost. In the second half he played better, but it certainly wasn’t up to his previous two games. He deserves consistent minutes but let’s reassess after 10 or so games.

Pelicans’ fans will be disappointed after tonight’s loss. And they have a right to be. Let’s see what steps the team takes to rebound at home against the Lakers on Wednesday. Stay tuned…

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