Pelicans lose Davis, and then a sloppy, sloppy game

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Published: January 8, 2016

The last meaningful shot the Pelicans took was a fitting epitaph for the game.  With the Pelicans down three, Gordon received the ball in the corner with space to shoot.   He pump-faked, realized he still had room, leaned back, and vomited a three pointer that missed the rim by five feet.  It wasn’t blocked or his shooting stroke hampered by a defender – he just lost his grip in the stress of the moment.  Game.

Of course, probably the real difference in this game happened at the start.  There wasn’t a player on the court that could stop Davis.  So, true to 2015-2016 Pelican Luck, he was taken out by the lack of people in the second row.  Chasing a loose ball, Davis dove and hit the chairs so hard the entire row displaced – and he was done for the game after playing a spare 3 minutes.  Of course.

For about a quarter, it didn’t seem like it would matter as the Pelicans played good basketball, moving the ball, finding the open man, cutting to open spots, and pushing out to a 30-16 lead.  Everything was Sunshine and Unicorns.   But we’ve all seen this act before, right?  When the second quarter started, the Pelicans went away from all that shiny goodness, and instead of running plays to get shots, they started running plays to get mismatches.  Then they would force feed the mismatches and stand around and watch that guy work. (usually Anderson)  The result was 13 points.

Despite that, the Pelicans had the lead for most of the game as the Pacers turned the ball over 24 times in some of the sloppiest ball handling ever anywhere at any time.  The Pelicans tried to match them, but couldn’t keep up, so, apparently, decided to give the Pacers the offensive rebounds needed to keep it close.  Kind of them.

The result – the Pacers slipped ahead at the end, and the Pelicans couldn’t capitalize on about 357 different steals they had in the last 3 minutes.

Ugh.

Observations:

  • Omer kept the rebounding where it needed to be for the first half.  Then he went to the ground diving after a loose ball and got smacked twice in the face while on the ground.  He didn’t return.  Sigh.  Ajinca was okay covering for him, but he wasn’t as good at sealing people away from the glass so he or his teammates could get rebounds.  He ended the game with way more rebounds than Asik, but that’s a little artificial.
  • Dante Cunningham did a really, really good job on Paul George.  George is like Gordon in one respect – if he’s on the move with the ball, bad things can happen.  Dante gave him little space and made him a driver.  George ended 3-13 for 13 points and 4 turnovers.
  • Tyreke was exhausted by the end of the game – and it looked like he was wincing in the fourth and favoring that knee.  More importantly, they weren’t running plays for him at the end of the game, so I think the issue was real.  Of course, he also kept the Pelicans afloat for most of the game.  Without him, they were toast early.
  • Gordon was really bad.  But,
  • Norris Cole was worse.  In fact, Norris Cole had me spitting angry on three separate occasions.  Know your god damn limitations and stop jacking pull-up long twos early in the shot clock and holy crap stop giving up layups and by the way stop driving one on three, because you absolutely suck at finishing around the rim!
  • I felt Jrue had a pretty solid game until he dribbled the ball out of bounds during crunch time.

Feh.  I don’t know.  Davis didn’t play and they barely lost the Pacers, who are a middling team.  It shouldn’t be a game to be mad about.  But even when I should feel okay, there was so much stupid in that game I’m still walking away annoyed.  Not fun.

Next game is Sunday against the Clippers.

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