The Pelicans beat the Lakers

Published: April 2, 2015

For the first quarter, you had to wonder if the Pelicans were going to bother playing hard in this one.  Their offense was clicking – which can be a recipe for them to not try so hard on defense.  And in the first, they definitely weren’t trying.  To give you an idea of the sort of defense that was being played – there were 8 dunks in the first quarter and both Ryan Kelly and Ryan Anderson drove from the three point line and dunked at different times.  Oh, and Asik did a crossover on Jordan Hill and then took him to the basket for a layup – from a step inside the three point line.

Yeah.  Defense not included.  In the second, the Pelicans tightened up their defense a little – and their own offense continued to carve apart the “defense” of the Lakers.  The game was really over half way through the third.

The best part of the game was seeing Ryan Anderson out there and playing well on the road – both things we haven’t seen enough of this season.


  • The Pelicans clearly told Davis to not leave Ryan Kelly alone out there, but it took a while for him to adjust.  He and Tyreke screwed up the first play of the game with a miscommunication on a pick and pop with Kelly that left Davis wildly out of position.  That continued throughout the night as Davis tried to block every Kelly shot and kept getting upfaked out of good defensive position.
  • Anderson didn’t get to touch the ball for the 3 minutes he played in the first.  In response the Pelicans ran a play for him to get a touch on the first offensive set of the second quarter.  It resulted in a bad iso and jumper.  Yech.
  • That wasn’t the case later in the quarter though, once Davis checked back in for Ajinca.  The Pelicans kept overloading the left side and running a pick and roll at the top with Davis while Anderson floated to the right corner.  They’d run the pick and roll, Davis would dive right at Anderson’s defender who had to crash down to stop him while Anderson floated up to the wing.  It kept creating so much space that Anderson got wide open looks.
  • It’s hard to say who Anderson stole minutes from since the Pelicans played their bench a lot during the blowout.  It seems like he took minutes from Ajinca and Pondexter, though.  Cunningham still got his 20.
  • Davis was controlling the offense tonight, and was visibly directing traffic so he could feed cutters.   He finished with 6 assists and he continues to become more and more comfortable as the team’s offensive hub.  He also had a nice alley-oop, some sweet runners, and his usual locked in jumpers.  He even managed to score 20 on 15 shots even though the Lakers weren’t interested in fouling anyone anywhere.
  • Evans could get wherever he wanted against the Lakers.
  • 9-16 is pretty good shooting from three, that’s for sure, but I can’t remember any of those threes being contested.  Yes, that’s how bad the Lakers defense was.  I can’t remember a single contested three point attempt by the Pelicans.
  • Toney Douglas’ energy is great.  Like I said on the podcast during his earlier stint with the team:  It’s nice to have a player you tell “Go out there make that guy’s life suck for 4 minutes.”
  • 31 assists on 44 shots.  Pels were moving the ball.

Sacramento on Friday!  With OKC losing to Dallas tonight, the 8th seed is in striking distance!


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