What Everybody is Saying and Nobody is Talking About

Published: November 20, 2016

A couple of wins and now everybody is talking playoffs. Another injury or two and a losing streak and everybody will be talking who to take in the top 3. That’s how fickle it is right now, as the Pelicans have dug themselves a sizable hole, but have also looked like a sure-fire playoff team these past two games and could be getting their 3rd best player back by the end of this month.

All of a sudden, nobody is talking about firing Dell Demps and Alvin Gentry, but a couple of losses will put those conversations back at the top of message boards again. This trend goes across the entire roster as well, because in a win nobody seems to care that the Pelicans are paying Asik and Solomon Hill $22 million a year to essentially be average 8th and 9th men. But after a loss, they are bums and Demps needs to go. It’s amusing.

Now on to more things everybody is saying and nobody is talking about.

What Everybody is Saying

Jrue Holiday is Back to His Old Form



Jrue Holiday has been very good, but this actually isn’t the Holiday that we have all come to know and love these past few years. This is an ultra aggressive, almost Westbrook-like version of Jrue Holiday that has emerged after missing the first twelve games. Jury’s usage since coming to New Orleans has hovered around 25, and for his career it is 23.4. So far this year, it is at a remarkable 32.5. Per 100 possessions, he was a guy who figured to take about 20-21 field goal attempts. So far this year, he is at 28.4 while simultaneously averaging 14.7 assists per 100 (that number is 9.9 for his career).

So yes, Jrue Holiday is back, but this isn’t the sometimes passive/sometimes aggressive Holiday from the past. This is a Jrue Holiday that has taken another jump on top of the jump he took last year in terms of aggressiveness. Last year, it was due in large part to the fact that he was coming off the bench and was asked to be more assertive in that role. This year there is some of that, but even when he is playing with the starters, his usage is at a career high. Black holes like Ryno, Gordon, and Tyreke being out probably has a lot to do with that. He is undoubtedly the most skilled player not named Anthony Davis on the team, and instead of playing “your turn/my turn” with other guards, it’s just always Jrue Holiday’s turn.

Terrence Jones is a Part of the Future



The beautiful of watching basketball is that it can be judged both objectively and subjectively. There is a score and one team objectively wins. Players get objective stats and teams have objective records. But despite all those things being true, subjectivity is required to really determine values of a player, or even which team is better. The fun part of all that is that with some players, the evaluation tells you more about the evaluator than the player. Terrence Jones is the epitome of that kind of player.

If you value offense above all else, Terrence Jones gives the Pelicans more bang for their buck than any other player. 10 points per game in 24 minutes on 53% shooting, with some nice passing skills and a bit of a post game – for just the minimum! Describe Terrence Jones like that and you would swear Dell Demps got the best bargain of the offseason. Heck, add the fact that he is the third best defensive rebounder on the team, and by far and away the second best shot blocker, and you could also make a claim that he is a quality defensive player too.

But he’s not. And not only is he not good; He is awful. Like, worse than Ryan Anderson awful. But those who want to believe in Jones won’t believe it. They will point to the plays that Reno can’t make – like the blocks – and claim that he can’t possibly be worse. But over 400 possessions, Jones is only going to block 10 more shots than Ryno. If Anderson gives more effort, is in better position, and communicates more on the other 390, who is the better defender?

And I don’t want to bash Jones, but take off your fan glasses and you will see he is beyond terrible. He comes out way too far when he hedges or shows. He has even less flexibility and mobility than Anderson. He is much faster in a straight line, but watching Jones try to move side to side is like watching paint dry. The most sickening effort to me was watching Terrence Jones just choose not to even box out on two separate free throw attempts. His guy went right around him and was actually in front of him before the ball even made it to the rim. Luckily for Jones, the attempts were made, but over time process always matters more than result.

This is not a Terrence Jones hate section. It is a keep it in perspective section. I have seen people advocating for massive Terrence Jones extensions that basically eat up the remainder of the Pelicans cap room this summer. Now, while he is nice for what the team needs now (on his current contract), my subjective eye says that making him a key piece of the future would be a massive mistake.

Langston Galloway is Good Again!


Langston Galloway is not the guy who stunk it up in the beginning of the season. He is not the guy who is lighting it up these past few games. He is BOTH guys. Always. I told anyone who would listen that he is one of the streakiest guys in the NBA, and he is having a good streak right now. Another bad one is around the corner, which will be followed by…. You guessed it, a bad one!

His True Shooting percentages by month last year: .732, .494, .467, .559, .485, .395, .434

In one four game stretch last year, he went 10-17 from deep. Next three games he went 2 for 9, then 7-11 in the next three. It is simply who the guy is. He is not comfortable in the system now. He will not be gassed from playing too many minutes next week. Stop trying to say anything other than what it is. The guy is a streaky shooter. That simple.

What Nobody is Saying

Solomon Hill Needs to Knock it Off with the Body Language

Watch a Pelicans player commit a bad foul and then immediate look over at Solomon Hill. He flings his arms up in the air or shakes his head in disgust. Calm down, dude – you’ve been playing like trash and are making more money than a half a dozen players on this team playing far better than you. I know he envisions himself as a leader, despite the fact that he got benched for a very limited player, but this is not the way to do it.

He has called his teammates out in the media and is now showing them up during games. Hey Solomon, how about you stop TJ Warren from getting an easy game winning dunk, or maybe hit an important shot now and then. After you do that, we will allow you to call your teammates out. For now, just cash your oversized check and be supportive when your teammates make mistakes. I will try to do the same for you.

Buddy Hield Will Suffer the Most From Gentry’s Lack of Job Security

If Ownership had promised at least 2-3 more years of job security for their coach and GM, Buddy Hield would be playing more than he has these last two games. Instead, guys like Dante Cunningham (who are who they will be) are getting huge minutes while Buddy gets token minutes that won’t help in his development. Granted, the Pelicans are 2-0, and if Buddy would have gotten 15-20 minutes in those two games, there is a good argument to be made that they would be 1-1. With the playoffs still a possibility if this team can steal every 50/50 game, I get it.

But how good this team can be moving forward, specifically when AD has to make his decision, rests in large part on how good Buddy becomes. in 2020, Anthony Davis won’t care if they Pelicans made the playoffs or not in 2017. He will care about how good the Pelicans are at that very moment, and how good they are likely to be for the next 3-4 years. A GM and a coach with job security would see that. A GM and a coach without that will try to have the best of both worlds, which rarely ever works out.

Buddy should be in a role with a creator, or creators, that allows him to get open shots for 15-20 minutes a game. That would allow him to concentrate a large part of his energy on the defensive end, where he needs the most improvement. With Tyreke coming back, you would now have multiple ball handlers and creators that could help put him in that role, but instead Gentry seems to be going the opposite direction and burying him on the bench. That might help the team eek out a few more wins this year, but at what cost?

The Pelicans Dancers Are Fire This Year

I know this makes me come across as a caveman or a Chauvinist. You can’t say a girl is attractive anymore without the PC police coming along and telling you that women are objects or that I am a pig, whatever. So, whatever, come at me PC bros, but the Pelicans dance team is far hotter this year than in any other year in recent memory. During league pass, they put the camera on the timeout shows or dance routines, and I actually watch this year. In normal years, I found 1-2 attractive. This year, it is easily 10+.

Yes, I am a pig. Whatever. But this pig is happy rolling in the mud this season.


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