Game On: Kings @ Pelicans

Published: March 27, 2015

The playoffs are a longshot now, but if the race is to even remain interesting, the Pelicans have to string some wins together over this soft part of their schedule. Which means taking down Sacramento, on a 4-game win streak of their own, tonight in New Orleans.

Sacramento isn’t a total joke this year, as Rudy Gay has found a way to draw fouls at a career high rate, and DeMarcus Cousins continues to be an offensive beast.   The result is an offense that is good enough – if their opponent doesn’t execute and take advantage of the horrendeous Sacramento defense – to win some games.

Keys to the game

  • Remember that transition defense exists.  After watching multiple teams, including the Rockets and Bucks recently, simply rebound a Pelicans miss and get a layup because the Pelicans aren’t getting back, this needs to be said.  Omri Casspi is excellent in transition.  Rudy Gay likes that too.  McLemore as well.  If the Pelicans decide that running after misses might be a good idea, the Kings are going to get lots of easy points.
  • Run switches to get Davis guarded by DeMarcus, then run an Evans-Davis pick and roll right at him.  Cousins likes to use his hands when beat and can end up fouling a lot.  Both those guys can get him reaching – and if Cousins is on the bench, the Kings are done . . .
  • Give them the midrange.  Cousins, Gay and Landry all have moments of extreme effectiveness, but none of that stretches to 18-foot jumpers on a consistent basis.  Make it easy for them to try those shots.  Live with it.

Enjoy the game.

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