Moleskin Moments: Pelicans Out-Ugly Nuggets for the Win

Published: March 1, 2015

The Pelicans have been finding ways to win since Jrue Holiday reaggravted his injury, and Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson both went down against Miami. Winning home games when role players like Luke Babbitt and Alexis Ajinca are having career nights is one thing. Winning on the road when none of those new rotation players step up is another. On one hand the Pelicans should have won the game. They’ve won four straight heading into the game, while the Denver Nuggets had lost five straight. On the other hand, the Pelicans have lost three straight to the Nuggets, six straight in Denver and were 11-17 on the road.

The Pelicans hit one of my keys of the game (they shot 30 free throws) did decent with another (22 assists), and lost the other two (they gave up 44 rebounds, and 16 offensive rebounds, to a team that was down their starting center and first big off the bench.) The team also allowed Ty Lawson to get in the paint, getting 11 assists (which is what he averages in wins.) Luckily Tyreke Evans played great at the start and end of the game (finishing with 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists) and Eric Gordon hit some clutch threes in the fourth (finishing with 18 points.) Omer Asik also had 16 rebounds, with the Nuggets never getting an offensive rebound while he was in the game.

Here are the moleskin moments for the game:

  • Nuggets are 19-4 when outshooting their opponent. 1-34 when being outshot.
  • 1Q 10:02 With Nurkic and Arthur out, I expect Evans to continue to attack Lawson with no real threat to defend above the rim behind him.
  • 1Q 3:20 Pels put Norris Cole in with, and he gets an early bucket.
  • 1Q No offensive rebounds for the Nuggets with Asik on the floor, till about the 3 minute mark.
  • 1Q Cole scores again, instant energy, Pels 21-12 with 2 minutes left in the 1Q.
  • End of 1Q PelicansNBA up 21-16. Curious to see the how the pace works out,  altitude could play a factor if the Pelicans continue to try to run with Denver.
  • Start of 2Q Jimmer checks in, I’m thinking we’ll see Monty try to stretch his rotation as much as possible with the altitude and 5 games in 7 nights.
  • 2Q 3:30 Part of Cole’s development will have to be learning what passes he can and cannot throw to who. #mariochalmersneverlearned
  • 2Q 2 minutes Pels have looked rudderless since taking Asik out late in the 1Q.
  • Pelicans 1st half is a reminder of the importance of having a PG. Never got back into the sets that were working early in the game. 37-37 at the half.
  • #Pelicans first 16 points were in the paint. Have to go back to attacking in order to win the game and exploit their defense.
  • 3Q 8:55 #Pelicans susceptible to press affecting their sets with ‘Reke as PG. The ball was 30 feet away from the basket with 11 seconds left on the Shot Clock.  #nobueno
  • Halfway through the third. Pelicans in the bonus, Faried out with 4 fouls. Asik killing it with 13 rebounds (career high is 17).
  • 3Q 2:45 Pelicans up 6. Evans shooting 2 FTs. If Pelicans can push it to double digits before the 4Q, may break the Nuggets.
  • 3Q Offensive Rebounds killing the Pelicans when Asik is out. 4 points and Evans’ 4th foul off those last two second chances.
  • 3Q 1 minute Maybe the first strong roll by Ajinca all game. Not the same Ajinca that gave Miami fits last game.
  • 3Q 0:00Nuggets had missed 7 straight threes till that prayer by Danillo Gallinari. Can’t let a team stick around.
  • 4Q 8:30 Pelicans Babbitt and Ajinca made some baskets early in the 4th, but Gordon and ‘Reke will have to come in with energy early it seems.  73-71 Den
  • 4Q Pelicans ‘Reke doing a good job of pushing the tempo as the de facto PG. But off. sets have to get in the paint even if not a post up.
  • 4Q 4:15 Gordon nails his second three off a pick and roll play as a third man, a la Ryan Anderson and AD. 85-80.
  • 4Q “No Ice Asik” is a monster. Huge board that kept that play alive. Running off time and getting to the line. #Pelicans
  • 4Q 1:07 left. Cole/Gordon/Reke/Q-Pon/DC matching up against the small Nuggets team. #Pelicans
  • 4Q :47 Heady play by Cole bringing the ball back out. 47 seconds left. 94-88 Pels.


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