Editor and Writer for Bourbon Street Shots, the ESPN TrueHoop Network Site for the New Orleans Pelicans
@lsucpolk Some people might say this, but I think the smart people are implying that having you ceiling be the 8th seed is the worst place to be. Obviously nobody thought it was bad when OKC was 8th a few years ago because their trajectory was going up, like ours. But if you are a vet team with no players still capable of significant improvement, it is stupid to be 8th. Example - if Brooklyn had their pick this year, it would be stupid for them to go for the playoffs.
6 hours, 2 minutes ago on Pelicans Battle Tremendously, but Fade Down the Stretch in 97-87 loss to Warriors
@6thMan those guys built their +/- by being on the floor in those 3 minute stretches at the beginning of the 2nd and 4th when Curry was off and the Warriors were horrible. 8-0 run to start the second. 7-0 to start the 4th. ALL without Curry.
Ryno was on the court with Curry, and still was a positive.
3 days, 1 hour ago on Pelicans Surge Late, But Warriors Hold Them Off to Take Game 1
@nin10doegame 100% correct. Monty was mad after that.
4 days, 13 hours ago on In the NO Podcast Ep 214: The Warriors Await
@Jason Calmes I will admit that I was furious after that game. So glad it worked out differently than I had imagined.
5 days, 7 hours ago on The Night That Changed the Pelicans and Warriors Fates Forever
@Caffeinedisaster I think Kerr is using him about as optimally as one can. No, I would not like him in our system, or in most systems for that matter. I think he is an average wing who is in the perfect system and situation for his game right now.
5 days, 9 hours ago on The Night That Changed the Pelicans and Warriors Fates Forever
@Pelican Poster Look at how Minny is playing right now against the Lakers. That could be the 5th game in 3 nights, and I don't know how we could lose it
1 week, 3 days ago on Pelicans Defeat Suns in Jrue Holiday’s Return
@shantadiva I agree with this. I think the Pels would ideally do what Ryan suggests here, but they really don't have any pieces that have the kind of value you would need to give up to get the kind of player he is suggesting. Gotta hope Jrue comes back 100% and Tyreke is even better in another role.
1 week, 4 days ago on Anthony Davis needs a Wingman
@6thMan Ryno is being used wrong IMO. Before he came back, I showed that the data said that he makes good players great and plays well when he is on the court with good players. He has struggled when he has been asked to carry the second unit.
But Monty has had him do the latter. It's no surprise to me that he has struggled.
2 weeks, 1 day ago on If Pelicans (and Their MVP) Want Playoffs, They Are Going to Have to Earn It
@nolahog You are missing the
@Caffeinedisaster Or maybe Ryno plays better with Asik and Ajinca now that the other three guys on the court won't be totally wastes of space that depend on Ryno to carry the whole offense.
2 weeks, 6 days ago on A Few Early Morning Ryan Anderson Tidbits
@thebirds88 1. In most cases, I would agree there is a difference between a one year coach and a five year coach with regard to possible improvement. But is Monty really a five year coach? If the roster keeps turning over and he has a new set of guys not only year to year, but game to game, is it improbable to thing that growth can happen with steadiness.
2. We have probably not done a good enough job on this site, and that is our fault, but Monty does not advocate stagnant iso ball. His sets are actually really beautiful when he gets the chance to run them. But, when he has to keep switching guys in and out, he has to dumb the offense down. Last summer, for instance, he said he only got through about 30% of his playbook because the guys were all learning so much new stuff already. Keep continuity and I would love to see what our offense looks like with 100% available. I mean, we are 8th in Off. Rating this year, and have been top 5 most of the season. Imagine having guys stay healthy and some continuity on top of that.
3. The defense has been climbing each and every month. Started off a bottom 3 defense, but since the acquisition of Pondexter, it has been middle of the pack in the NBA. Again, imagine health and continuity added on to that.
4 weeks, 1 day ago on Should the Pelicans Just Run It Back Next Season?
@nolaboy76 I will say this - Are some possibly guilty of using recency bias with regard to Anderson and forgetting who he was prior to this season?
There are many examples of a player returning to form in their second season after a major injury. Remember, Ryno had no offseason conditioning essentially. If he enters this summer healthy and can focus on conditioning, isn't it more likely that he returns to form (where he was consistently amongst the highest in the entire league in Net Rtg) than he just continues to struggle for the rest of his career?
The hardest thing for people to do is not weigh yesterday more than the six months prior to yesterday. But the 6 months prior to yesterday help far more when trying to predict the future than yesterday.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Pelicans take down Nets
@wilthomas178 Buyouts only happen in extreme cases, and Jrue wouldn't be one of those. Even in the worst case scenario, he is only a bad contract next year. After that, he is expiring and would count for 11% or so of the new cap.
But that is worst case. Personally, I am putting my money on a healthy Holiday moving forward.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on New Orleans Pelicans End of Season and Offseason Priorities
@xman20002000 @504ever @Michael McNamara Personally, I am a fan of Q-Pon, Cole, Ajinca long term and DC if we move Ryno (but not as a SF). Babbitt, I would keep as an 11th man, but not as a permanent rotation player. Withey is what he is, IMO and so is Hamilton.
I think we are health and one wing added via the MLE away from being a really good team that can go 10 deep with anyone
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Pelicans Prove Basketball Without AD Can Still Be Fun, Beat Raptors 100-97
@504ever Let's not forget that this same bottom of the roster (minus Cole) got blown out by the Pacers in embarrassing fashion.
We should never take too much for a good win or a bad loss, but rather step back and look at everything. Let's get more evidence over the next few weeks, because I guarantee these same guys will have one or two stinkers and people will come out saying they are the worst players ever after those games.
@mvpmb10 I'm... Ron Burgandy?
2 months ago on Pelicans Fill Backup PG Void with Trade for Norris Cole
@Pelican Poster @Michael McNamara They traded for Ish. Big difference. I think that is where you are confused.
OKC basically gave us cash and a 'fake guy' to trade later to take Smith and then cut him.
I know all this stuff is confusing because some things were done to make other things work or to oblige by CBA rules, but basically Dell swapped Salmons for Cole and some cash and waived Douglas.
@Pelican Poster What do you mean 'sign Ish first'?
@504ever Thats Doyle Brunson's philosophy! The GOAT!
@Cmac2004 @Michael McNamara @ryanschwan The last thing OKC needs is more guys with 25%+ usage rates
2 months ago on In the NO Podcast Episode 205: Trades!
@Cmac2004 @Michael McNamara @ryanschwan Can't see OKC ever doing that. They have Waiters and Morrow as scoring guards off the bench. Don't know why they would pay Gordon 15.5 mil next year to have such a little impact
@isthisyourhomeworklawrence This organization goes after character guys. Sanders maybe has the most questionable character in the league. Couldn't imagine they even discuss him, let alone sign him
2 months ago on Optimizing Omer: Part 1
@504ever There is a 0% chance smoothing begins this summer. The proposal on the table is for the smoothing to begin in summer of 2016 - for the cap to go up to say 80 or 85 mil as opposed to 90 or 95.
The cap this summer will be in the mid to high 60's
Here were my trades for the record:
1.) Jarrett Jack and Kevin Garnett for Eric Gordon and a future pick
(if not Garnett, then Mirza Teletovic and maybe another contract)
Thought process - Brooklyn blows it up, dumps a year of Jack and gets a pick in the future when they have none.
We get a backup guard for 40% the price
2.) Gordon for Scola, Copeland, Watson, and either Miles or Ian Mahinmi
3.) Gordon and Babbitt for Stuaskas, D. Williams, and R. Sessions
Omer Asik and Caron Butler to the Raptors
Terrence Ross, C. Hayes, Raps 1st rounder, and Ajinca to Pistons
Greg Monroe and Hansbrough to Pels
* Monroe for 4 yrs/60 mil or Asik for 3-5 yrs at 10 mil per?
1.) Ryan Anderson and Joel Freeland to the Bobcats
Marvin Williams to the Blazers
Thomas Robinson, Gary Neal, Noah Vonleh, and Charlotte protected 1st round pick to Pelicans
Ryno and Gordon
1.) Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon for Kevin Love, B. Haywood, and James Jones
then move Asik for Terrance Ross and C. Hayes
2.) Ryno and Gordon for D. Williams, McLemore, Sessions, Hollins, and Landry
You got your 4 big rotation with Landry and Ajinca. Have a ton of money for FA
Trade Tyreke at Peak value
1. ) Evans for Goran Dragic and TJ Warren
2. ) Ryan Anderson and Tyreke Evans for K. Faried, Afflalo, G. Harris (Faried deal is 4/50)
3.) R. Anderson and Tyreke for Carmelo Anthony
@New City I think you are underselling it a bit. I want to see these teams who are missing 100 combined minutes and a combined PER of 65 who won games against decent teams. I doubt it happens that often.
2 months, 1 week ago on Pacers Destroy Pelicans, Unnamed Writer Collapses In Tears
20 of our 30 FT attempts came in the 4th, and 9 of those came from Ryno. He was also responsible for fouling Ibaka out, and him drawing fouls early in the quarter got us into the bonus with 7+ minutes left (which led to other FTs).
AD was amazing, and Reke did more good than bad, but Ryno's 4th quarter was the difference to me. Hopefully our guards can learn from it. In this two game home and home with OKC, Westbrook shot 24 FT's. Tyreke, Gordon, Jimmer, Q-Pon, and DC combined for 9. Our perimeter players simply must get to the line more.
But great win. Hopefully they win their last three at home before AS break and head into that week off with a 3-4 game lead over OKC plus the tiebreaker.
2 months, 1 week ago on What a Game: Pelicans @ Thunder
@josephplum He is near the top of the league, as are the Pelicans in general. They drive plenty, but their guards are all among the worst in the league when it comes to free throw attempts per drive.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Lack of Free Throws From Guards Is Primary Reason for Offensive Inconsistency
@6thMan Several of those FT's come from Asik (1st on the team in rate and 3rd in total attempts) and he misses a large percentage. As noted above, Tyreke is 2nd in attempts and he shoots relatively poorly too. Yes, other guys could increase their FT rates and that would help, but the guard has the ball in his hand and is the one attacking. That puts more pressure on a D.
You can mask the problem in a lot of different ways, and obviously get away with it on some or most nights, but without at least one guard or perimeter player who can get to the line at will (and makes them), you will have droughts like the one we saw last night and games where you lose to teams that you should beat.
@New City Top guards/wings with regard to free throw rate include James Harden, Kyle Lowry, Damian Lillard, Jeff Teague, Gordon Hayward, Ty Lawson, Lou Williams, Isaiah Thomas, Cory Joseph, Manu Ginobli, DJ Augustin, CJ Watson, Mario Chalmers, Jeremy Lin
I can go on and on. Not exactly high flyers. If Jrue or Eric had a FT rate anything close to those guys, there would be no problem.
To add to this - I would love the conversation to start to shift over the next few weeks from: Who starts? to How many minutes does each guy get? And Who finishes?
Those two things are far more important than who gets to be on the court when the ball gets thrown up
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Quick Hits: The Pelicans Aren’t Better Without Jrue
@Michael Pellissier @ryanschwan McLemore is only so high because of how terrible the rest of his team is from behind the arc. Fewest 3-pointers made per game of any guy on this list. Not saying I wouldn't want him for free, but his place on this list has as much to do with his teammates as him.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Ryan Anderson and Shooting Risk
@kfte At this point, this is pretty much where I am with Ajinca too. Had a few really good games and is obviously improved, but I think those who are so willing to dump Asik and give this guy big minutes are getting ahead of themselves.
That said, if I were Dell, I would want to see more because I need to make my evaluation before I head into this summer. I would be asking Monty to find him consistent minutes to see if he can be a game in, game out quality big man.
2 months, 2 weeks ago on Alexis Ajinca Making a Case for More Minutes
@mvpmb10 Danny Green and Draymond G will get double what we have to offer or more. Gerald Green is a nice option, but might be out of our price range too and Harris definitely can't be had for the MLE. Corey Brewer isn't a big enough upgrade, and Demarre would be ideal but again might be out of our price range, only having the MLE.
My point was that if we couldn't get a clear upgrade at SF (Green's, Demarre) then it might be better to go after a G or C as opposed to a marginal upgrade like Corey Brewer or Wesley Johnson with the MLE
2 months, 3 weeks ago on In the NO Podcast Ep 202: No Jrue, No Problem
@isthisyourhomeworklawrence I think you answered your own question with the last statement you made there
2 months, 3 weeks ago on What Has Gotten Into Eric Gordon?
I really agree with the majority of these. My only changes would be:
B+ for Holiday (Mason had A-). Just still not aggressive enough on the offensive end consistently.
B- for Evans (Mason had a B), I just think the off ball defense has been so bad and it is hard for me to overlook that when our defense has been our downfall.
Other than that, I agree. What does everyone else think?
3 months ago on New Orleans Pelicans’ Mid-Season Report Card
@504ever @Michael McNamara @6thMan My philosophy wouldn't be to "try new things" whenever a major piece struggled because maybe one of my minimum guys could break through. I agree it might work once in a while, but it wouldn't be my tactic.
I would stick with Ryno and bet that he will break through before I bet that Ajinca becomes the next Speights.
3 months ago on Let’s Talk About Ryno
@504ever @6thMan @Michael McNamara Austin Rivers looked terrific for the first 8 games this season. Aminu for a few games at the beginning of multiple seasons. Heck, George Zidek looked like he was gonna win rookie of the year after his first few games.
I want to believe in Ajinca's two great games, but I am going to assume that it is an aberration for now. The game before and the game after those two games in which Ajinca got major minutes, he went 6-15 (40%) and scored 14 points (less than 1 point per shot)
I don't think any two game sample size should be used. Ajinca has a decent enough body of work, and so does Ryno. And to me, taking away minutes from Ryno to give to Ajinca does not lead to more wins over a large period of time.
@6thMan What about a 3rd possibility - What if everything you said is true and the only way for him to get back to his old form on the boards, on D, and with his shot is for him to work himself back into shape?
Sure, it might hurt us in the short term this season, and 5-8 wins might be lost, but we aren't winning the title this year anyway. If its about the long term, use this season to get back into shape, both mentally and physically, and then be on track to kill it next year and beyond.
@bpec12 My guess is that most aren't, because most tend to just look at results at not process.
But I would think that some would still see some flaws in spite of the record. That is my best guess.
@dschmid4 I hate using it too - especially when my evaluation says some of our players are low in that category, but if I say CP3 has a high IQ, then there has to be a flip side. To me, the IQ of a player can be seen when a play breaks down or something goes wrong - does he know what the high percentage play is without someone having to tell him? Is he always aware of game situation - not just score and shot clock, but whether his team is in the bonus, who specifically on the other team is in foul trouble, opponents tendencies, etc.
These guys are usually referred to as "coaches on the floor" because a coach is (or at least should be) always aware of these things. Players with lower IQ revert to base instincts and get frazzled when something doesn't go the way it should. They also think of each possession in a vacuum, rather than seeing the big picture (the entire game or even season as a whole). Example - a great PG gets certain guys touches early, even if it is not the most efficient offensive option, because he knows it will keep them engaged throughout the remainder of the game.
I would love if we had more of these types of players, and it is possible that some grow into it over time. But they are on the other side of the IQ scale currently.
3 months ago on New Orleans Pelicans Issues Go Beyond Monty Williams
@ljoseph242001 You couldn't find two more similar coaches than Monty and Mark Jackson IMO.
@DonDP Just as an FYI - about 90% of this article was written more than a week ago. Had little or nothing to do with Philly game
@SamuelAdamScott Hungry for a backup PG!!
3 months, 1 week ago on In the NO Podcast Ep 200: Q-Pon Anyone?
@bobmurrell That site is not as clear.
Their obligations to the Clippers are essentially extinguished after they get our own 2nd rounder this year. We will not owe the Grizz pick to anyone.. It is ours for now, but expect it to be moved by February in all likelihood
3 months, 1 week ago on New Orleans Pelicans Receive Quincy Pondexter in Trade
@504ever I feel like that solidifies the roster, but I don't know if it makes it transcendent if that makes sense.
I think that in the next two years, they will have to swing for a triple or a homer with some move to really become a contender
3 months, 2 weeks ago on MythBusters – New Orleans Pelicans Have More Flexibility Than You Think
@mvpmb10 His next few moves will be more important than his last few. He has less room for error moving forward than he did in the past, but if he can hit a few doubles and maybe one triple or homer, this is a championship caliber team.
Just can't strike out (ex. Another Gordon contract with subsequent production)
@thouse I agree that "return is key" but there are different kinds of returns.
Example- Lets say you dump Tyreke for nothing and sign Wes Matthews to a similar contract, haven't you effectively traded Tyreke for Matthews?
With that being the case, I don't think actually getting return in the trade is necessarily important if you know you can lock up another guy with that money. That was my overall point.
@champsworld504 I just hope there is no Nick Anderson who is gonna make me look like a chump since I am a little rusty.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on Pelicans Perimeter Problems – Too Many Open Threes
@bsbob I think our memories are very convenient. Or maybe inconvenient.
The play that gave us the lead was a designed play. It was not an iso for Tyreke. It got AD a 3-pt opportunity.
I don't mind people pointing out the bad - there was a lot there last night. But there is a TON of hyperbole after a loss, especially after a stomach punching one like last night.
@6thMan Jimmer took one last night and I thought it was huge. Jrue hit two last night and one in the Suns game, both in key moments.
Jrue's came at the end of the shot clock last night, so I don't know if he got the green light as much as he had to take it. Either way, I believe those type of shots open up the offense for future possessions, whether you make them or miss them. If you make them, double bonus - good for short term and long term.