Pelicans play three quarters of basketball

Published: December 31, 2015

Even when things should be going well for these guys, things don’t.  They came out with energy and good defense in the first half.  They executed plays and got rolling to the basket for easy scores.

And they ended down 2 as the Clippers hit 9 threes to keep them right there.

Even Austin Rivers hit two awful-looking contested threes.  Bleh.  And then the third quarter hit.  To be fair, the Clippers did tighten their defense – but let me run off some play results for you:

  • Turnover
  • 26-foot miss
  • Missed Layup
  • 22-foot miss
  • 25-foot miss
  • 13-foot miss
  • 16-foot miss
  • 9-foot make
  • 11-foot miss
  • 24-foot make
  • Turnover
  • 10-foot miss
  • 25-foot miss
  • turnover

That’s the result of the first 7 minutes of game time in the third – until the first subs are made.  That’s one shot near the rim. That is an offense choking on its own vomit – and it was a three guard line-up with Cole, Evans and Gordon.  Whenever a guard got penetration past the arc, they met the second line defender and jacked a shot.  If you watch Gentry’s old teams – they penetrate and kick, and penetrate again if the shot’s not there, until they are deep in the paint.  Only Jrue was willing to kick in this game if he met a defender – but the flipside of Holiday is he’s not explosive enough to get to the rim consistently, so the havoc he causes isn’t dramatic.  He’s a prober, not a penetrator.

It’s hard not to just settle on the idea that this is just a mediocre team at heart, mostly because everything on this team fits badly right now.  Talent to coaching, one dimensional guys, few dirty work guys who don’t take too much off the table at the same time.  Ugh.

All that said, the team did punch its way back from being down big and had a chance at the end.  There were some interesting things.


  • The Holiday-Davis pick and roll is slowly picking up steam and chemistry.  It had some pretty good results throughout the game.
  • Asik played well – about as well as he was last year, and that’s been consistent for a few games.  His picks can be shattering, and he even dunked tonight!
  • Davis in the low post is dumb.  Put him at the elbow.  Put him in a pick and pop.   Sure, give him a play or two there a game so he can develop it, but it shouldn’t be a bread and butter play.
  • The Clippers are bad at getting turnovers, yet the Pels gave up 15 tonight.  And a lot of them were bad hand-offs where a Clipper got a finger on it and the ball would squirt out of bounds off a Pelican.  That kind of sloppy ball-handling drives me nuts.
  • Tyreke makes a lot of mistakes – including one awful play where he was stripped by Redick, and then jogged back as Redick sprinted ahead of him to the corner, received the ball, and hit a shot.  Tyreke wasn’t to the three point line yet.  And though he wasn’t assigned that guy and he clearly tried to angle his run towards the paint so it looked like Redick wasn’t his guy – in transition it’s his god damn guy.
  • That said Tyreke is the only perimeter player on this team not named Dante Cunningham who has even an iota of desire to get a rebound.  No one else battles for crap.  You want to know why this team is getting crushed on the boards over and over?  One-dimensional guys.
  • I was thinking Austin Rivers had a solid game.  Then you look in the box score and he got 9 points on 9 shots, 1 rebound and 1 assist.  It’s easy to look good against low expectations.
  • I’ve seen enough of Alonzo Gee.  The choice for a wing defender on this messed up team is Cunningham and Gee – and Gee usually gets it because he’s a little quicker.  The problem is we are asking them to chase guys with at least B+ speed.  Cunningham has C+ speed and Gee B- speed. So both those guys are eating dust – at least Cunningham does something else.  Sometimes.

Next game is Saturday.  Heres to a better, and Happier New Year!


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