Come On Pelican
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Because of Eric Gordon's torn labrum, it looks like a lot of you folks who have been rooting for him to be benched will get your wish. We'll see how that turns out for y'all. EJ, if you read this website, please know that 99% of Pels fans are wishing you a speedy and successful recovery.
4 days ago on In the NO Podcast Ep 195: No Gordon, No Asik, No Problem?
Aside from the obvious fact that this Pelicans team is
vastly different without Omer Asik on the court, what I saw that was new during
last night’s game against the Nuggets was the team giving more playing time with
the starting unit to Jrue Holiday at the point guard position. Holiday is still not 100%, and he continues
to play through his recovery (the simple fact that he’s doing that and the team
is letting him do that says a lot about both Jrue and the importance the team
places on having him in the starting lineup in whatever capacity he’s able to fill). During the early games this season, what we’ve
seen much more of in the starting unit is Tyreke Evans at the point forward position, with Jrue
playing a non-point guard role. When a
team makes a major adjustment like they did last night (putting Holiday in his
true point guard role, which is of course is where he needs to be, when fully healthy),
there are always going to be struggles that accompany that type of adjustment. But what we saw while the team is adjusting
to this change last night, as Coach Williams observed after the game, was more
Pelicans possessions that wound down to under 5 seconds on the shot clock,
resulting in many forced shots. While it’s
painful to watch these kinds of adjustments when they’re foundering right
before our eyes, it’s actually quite a good thing to see that everyone feels Holiday
is finally healthy enough to start spending more time with the starting unit in
his true point guard role.
6 days, 5 hours ago on Observations: Pelicans at Nuggets
@ChristopherRomaguera I like it when a revelation about the Pelicans hits me out of the blue and causes a bulb to light up over my head, and your comment in your reply to nolahog about Austin Rivers did that for me today, Chris. It should have been obvious before you even mentioned it, but you're absolutely right that Rivers is currently the Pelicans' best bench player after Ryan Anderson. Now, overall my assessment of last night's road loss against the King and his Cavs is positive. I saw a lot more good things from our squad than bad. And it is definitely good to start to see hints of legitimate NBA caliber play out of Rivers. But it's sad when you realize he is the 7th best player on this team, and as this season drags on, the excessive number of minutes that Monty Williams will justifiably give to players 1 through 7 (assuming they stay healthy) -- combined with the limited minutes for players 8 through 15 -- will help guarantee that any hoped-for playoff appearance by this team will be short-lived. But I'm still encouraged about the direction of the team and am anxious to see roster upgrades as soon as Dell Demps can afford them.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Moleskin Moments: Cavaliers vs. Pelicans, Meat Pies and Cheese Fries
Re your excellent observation about Tyreke missing layups and having them cleaned up by big men: The way the Pelicans bigs crash the boards each time Evans drives to the basket makes you wonder if they're actually expecting him to miss.
2 weeks, 5 days ago on Anthony Davis Gets the Pelicans Over the Hump in San Antonio
@Michael McNamara @Come On Pelican Mike, you've done a nice job so far this season not jumping on those bandwagons. I am one fan and reader who appreciates that. Thank you. The roster of this particular Pelicans team (with its subpar bench) and its coaching staff (they are what they are) are pretty much set for this season, so I am hoping for a healthy year and am anxious to see what the end product looks like in the spring.
3 weeks ago on Notes from Underground: Practice 11.6
Thank you, Chris, for writing a substantive, informative article about our Pelicans that doesn't mention benching Eric Gordon, that doesn't question Coach Williams' lineups or rotations, and that doesn't advocate firing the head coach.
This Pelicans team has two key players who are just returning from serious injuries that prematurely ended their seasons last year. And we're already questioning the head coach's starting lineup (one that includes 1 new player -- Tyreke -- who has never started with the other 4 and 1 new player who is in his 1st year with the team)? Seriously?
3 weeks, 2 days ago on New Orleans Pelicans Top Charlotte Hornets, Eric Gordon Bottoming Out
It's silly to advocate benching your highest paid player after only 2 games into an 82 game season. There's a lot that's going on with this starting lineup that's entirely new: Asik as your interior presence whose role is to clog up the paint and give AD23 free reign to roam and shoot at will and crash the boards, and Tyreke as a point forward/SG. You have to give these men some time to learn how to play together, and you have to give the coaches some time to understand their roles and how to maximize their contributions. And once you get past your sixth man, this bench is atrocious. The weakness of players 7 through 15 on this roster is the primary reason there will be no serious playoff run by the Pelicans this season. Eric Gordon's strength as a young player was his ability to penetrate. But now, after all of his injuries, he's a step slower, and his defenders are a step faster. He and his coaches should be able to learn how he fits into this starting lineup if they are just given a little time (i.e. more than 2 games).
3 weeks, 4 days ago on Finding the Right Role for Eric Gordon
This is without a doubt the most thoughtful, relevant and insightful article that's been written about our Pelicans in a long time, primarily because it accurately recognizes that -- for better or worse -- Monty Williams will be the head coach of this team for the 2014-15 season, it recognizes his preferences and idiosyncrasies, it recognizes that Eric Gordon is not going anywhere anytime soon, and it makes a persuasive argument for why this coach should vary from his traditionalist approach by starting a 6' 6" player at SF. Thanks for the research and analysis and the nice read. This Pelicans fan hopes you're right that Tyreke Evans will start along with Jrue Holiday and Eric Gordon.
4 months, 1 week ago on An Educated Guess on the New Orleans Pelicans Rotation
Thank you for writing an article explaining why you have nothing to report.
4 months, 3 weeks ago on Lebron and Melo Are Handcuffing Dell Demps
You sure do know a lot about coaching and running a basketball team, McNamara. Where'd you learn so much, Lutcher High School?
8 months ago on Game On: New Orleans Pelicans at San Antonio Spurs
I honestly can no longer stomach the constant negativity and second-guessing that's come to predominate this site and your sister site pelicansreport.com. Though I've been a Saints season ticket holder since 1992 (and a Hornets/Pelicans ticket holder since they came to New Orleans), this type of constant sniping and whining is the same reason I stopped following similar online sites about the Saints. I had higher hopes for this site, and for a while it really was different here. Maybe it's just something in our genes here in the Crescent City. Maybe we just can't help ourselves. Remember when we killed the 1984 Worlds Fair with all of our complaining and negativity? If y'all actually do end up getting Monty Williams fired eventually, I hope you think back to all of this when the next head coach ends up being worse and when Anthony Davis ends up leaving us like Chris Paul did. And then, perhaps I'll be dead or too old to care once New Orleans no longer has an NBA franchise. I hope y'all enjoy each other's company.
8 months, 2 weeks ago on Pelicans Can’t Hold On, Fall to Grizzlies
Excellent pre-game analysis. Mason. You're absolutely right that Marc Gasol clogs up the middle defensively as well as any center in the league. And the Pelicans have no one on the roster to counter him. One hope will be to send our 3 headed triumverate of centers plus AD23 right at him offensively in the hope that he will get in foul trouble.
8 months, 2 weeks ago on Game On: Grizzlies @ Pelicans
We're witnessing something really sad right now, which is Austin Rivers' reversion back to his old 2012-13 season self. Despite a lot of minutes last night against the Bucks, he was tentative running the point. He seems to have no confidence when the Pelicans have the ball and doesn't appear to see the court well during New Orleans' half court offense. He had zero assists until the 4th quarter, but then he recorded three quick assists that were all outside shots: a 3 pointer and a long jumper to AMo and a 3 pointer to Aminu(!). Though Brian Roberts will never be a favorite among Pels fans, last night's performance by Rivers shows why Roberts ends up -- pretty much by default -- getting a lot of playing time. Austin's lack of progress this late in his second year of professional basketball may eventually require Dell Demps and Monty Williams to admit they made a mistake in drafting him and move on.
8 months, 3 weeks ago on The Pelicans beat the Bucks
There's a big difference between giving Stiemsma and Ajinca minutes and giving Darius Miller minutes at this point in the season. There's good reason to believe that either Stiemsma or Ajinca will be gone next season, possibly both of them. There's also a need to give them minutes so Monty Williams and Dell Demps can decide who to keep. Right now the Pelicans have 3 moderately capable backup centers on the roster. Next season, one, perhaps 2, of the team's current centers will be gone. Coach and Mr. Demps need to try to learn a lot of things about their current centers to help them make the right decision. Demps and Williams know they have only one more guaranteed season with the Pelicans, and they both know they'd better start producing more wins next season and getting butts in the seats at the Blender (I like JannyMeza's new name for the Arena above - kudos!). In the grand scheme of things, though it would be nice in a perfect world to see Miller get more minutes, that's simply a luxury that's not in the cards right now.
8 months, 3 weeks ago on Pelicans Snap 8 Game Skid with 132-125 Road Victory over Lakers
The only players we're certain to see wearing Pelicans uniforms next season are AD23, Tyreke, Anderson and Jrue.
8 months, 4 weeks ago on Pelicans are Foul in loss
After Eric Gordon's 3 pointer halfway through the 3rd period, the lowly Kings then went on a 22-7 run to close out the quarter. I didn't see much defense or offense from the Pelicans during that stretch. When Rivers eventually replaced Gordon in the 3rd, everything seemed to get even worse for New Orleans. Rivers' only points that quarter were on the intentional foul. In addition to the 2 de facto turnovers caused by missed free throws, he had another actual turnover and zero assists. I called Rivers a lost lamb on offense earlier this season. He got lost again last night. I agree he's a better defender than Brian Roberts, but Roberts consistently hits 3s and jump shots and is fabulous at the line. Without Jrue Holiday, Coach could probably play eeny meeny miney moe when selecting his PG rotation for the game. Maybe he should try starting Tyreke Evans at the point. And I don't mind Coach giving Jeff Withey some minutes during the last part of this lost season, but Withey looked terrible in that 3rd quarter stretch.
How about this? He was on the court leading his team at PG during a horrible 3rd quarter collapse by his team, missing 4 consecutive free throws at a crucial time (that's a fact, not a stat) and was viewed as such a Pelicans liability that the opposing team's coach had his team deliberately foul him to put him on the free throw line.
There was absolutely no compelling reason on God's green Earth for Anthony Davis to play through pain and put himself on the court 2/3 of the way through a bad season in a meaningless game. But he did it last night in Phoenix. And that says so much about him and also provides inspiration to a team and franchise he's quickly become a leader of. AD23 came back early from his broken hand, he barely missed any time after dislocating his finger (playing several games with two fingers taped together), and now this. The true greats in the history of this game have more times than not found a way to get themselves on the court. They always believe they can help their team, and they WANT to be out there. Thank you, Mr. Davis, for what you're doing for this team. Pelicans fans are learning that the sky's the limit for you, and we can't wait for you to take us along for the ride.
9 months ago on Suns Execute Down Stretch, Outlast Pelicans
Monty Williams needs to teach his players to make free throws, not to throw the ball out of bounds and to the opposing team, and to shoot the ball before the 24 second clock expires.
9 months ago on Anthony Davis is Injured in Blowout Loss to Mavericks
Seriously? The best New Orleans Hornets team ever was the 2007-08 team that lost to the Spurs in Game 7. In addition to All Stars CP3 and DWest, the team included eventual Olympic Gold Medal winner Tyson Chandler and Peja Stojakovic (8th all time in 3 pointers and 2011 NBA Championship Ring recipient). That season, with 0.8 seconds left and a multi-year Mavericks losing streak on the line, Peja received an inbounds pass and sunk a 3 pointer that put the game into overtime and catapulted the Hornets to a win over the Mavs and the franchise's best season ever. Two years later, all four of those starters were gone.
9 months ago on Of Course the Pelicans Will Retire Chris Paul’s Jersey
I really don't get where you're coming from, Pluto. So you're saying that when a former player who departed New Orleans 4 years ago under negative circumstances visits our stadium, we're supposed to cheer him and wear his jersey, but at the same time we're supposed to trash the head coach who's still here and working 80+ hours per week to try to help the current team succeed? I only became a Hornets fan when I bought season tickets for the first time when they moved here in 2002, but I have to admit a lot of folks' ideas about what it means to be a "fan" in the NBA is much different from any other sport I've ever followed. I can't stand it when locals show up at our arena and wear the jersey of and cheer for players on the visiting team. I frequently smile and shake my head in appreciation of amazing plays such as those I saw from Blake Griffin in the Smoothie King Center on Monday night, but I'll never actually cheer for or support any opposing player.
I thought that was you wearing that Chris Paul jersey.
The day I see a Chris Paul jersey hanging from the rafters in Smoothie King Center is the last day I'll ever attend an NBA game there. It made me sick enough just to see some locals walking around the Arena wearing his jersey at last night's Clippers game. I didn't boo CP3, but I certainly cheered every time he missed a shot and got called for a foul.
Coach Williams is so lucky to have all of us around to point out his "mistakes" so he can "learn" from them.
9 months ago on Clippers bury Pelicans under the Three Ball
With all of the attention that is being heaped on him right now, I decided to spend some time last night watching Monty Williams. He actually LOOKED like he was TRYING to coach this Pelicans team: yelling at the refs (there was a lot to yell about), calling timeouts at appropriate times, making key substitutions, talking to his players and assistants. It appeared he was successful with 8 and a half minutes left while trying to convince the refs that one of his players had committed an out-of-bounds rather than a shooting foul. The refs appeared to be calling a shooting foul at first, but then conferred and changed their ruling to a non-shooting foul. Of course, I couldn't hear what words were actually coming out of Coach Williams' mouth. Maybe he's talking gibberish.
I'm glad people don't watch me work 8 hours/week and then offer their opinion about whether I should keep my job.
9 months, 1 week ago on Pelicans Drop Heartbreaker to Wizards
Remember when Buddy Diliberto picked Mike Ditka to replace Jim Haslett as the Saints head coach? Are y'all going to help select the next Pelicans coach after you get Monty Williams fired?
I am like you in some ways, because I too am always watching the Pels, either in the stands, or in a bar, or on my sofa. Cheers. But are you saying you believe they would have won last night's game with Roberts on the bench and Rivers on the court during the final possession? If you don't believe that, then what exactly are you saying Monty Williams did to lose that game? I think it's much more on the players who were and weren't able to play in the game.
It's easy to sit on the sofa and microanalyze every action taken publicly by the head coach of a sports franchise and complain about each of them. What's more complicated is thinking through the next steps after you help orchestrate his firing. It's like the dog chasing the car: what does he do with it once he catches it? Monty Williams is the 5th head coach of this team since it's been in New Orleans and the 2nd longest tenured. After the CP3/Shinn/Bower/Stern ownership fiasco and Tom Thibodeau's rejection of the Hornets' offer, it's critical to ask whether some franchise stability is more important right now than minor disagreements about x's and o's and in-game line-up decisions. Old NBA head coach retreads almost always fail. Are there better coaches out there? Probably. Can you get them to come to New Orleans? Questionable. Do you have a Plan B, C and D in place that will be better than the current situation? Doubtful. It's good that Dell Demps/Mickey Loomis et al have the right perspective and are running this team.
It's absurd to blame this 1 point last second road loss (on a back-to-back) to a playoff team on one coaching decision with 7 seconds to go in a 48 minute game. The truth is that without Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday, this roster stinks. Imagine yourself as head coach and looking down this Pelicans bench at substitution time: which player who would be out of the NBA if he weren't wearing a Pelicans jersey do I put on the court now? Do players who aren't named Brian have any accountability on this team? With 2 & a half minutes left, did you see John Wall blow by two Pelicans defenders all the way to the hoop as if they were standing still? He’s an elite PG who may be the fastest player in the NBA. Like Austin Rivers was going to stop Wall from penetrating and dishing to Nene for the dunk at the end of the game? Give me a break. How about Eric Gordon's 21 foot clunker jump shot with 2 minutes left and plenty of time on the shot clock that gave up a two point lead? How about Ajinca's lane violation with less than a minute left that gave the Wizards an extra point (how many points did we lose by)? Bottom line: this team is bad without Ryno and Jrue and with no center, and it has no depth. Our shock shouldn't be at one end-of-the-game coaching decision; it should be at the fact they were even in the game.
No matter how many "Fire Monty" cries we hear, the truth is Monty Williams’ scheme depends on a solid starting center, and Dell Demps knows it’s not prudent to judge this head coach’s performance before giving him one. Starting at least 4 different 5’s this year hasn’t worked, because none are legitimate NBA starting centers. Anthony Davis has been amazing this season, but Al Jefferson proved last night AD is not an NBA starting 5. Sure, Davis can play the 5 at points during games, depending on matchups and scenarios, but his strength is at PF. So let’s stop trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It made sense at the time for Demps to match the Suns’ offer, but in hindsight Eric Gordon is currently untradeable and his contract has become an albatross around the franchise’s neck. It’s also apparent there aren’t many good 5’s out there (there are only about 12-15 legitimate starting centers in today's NBA), meaning half the teams don’t have one on their roster. In the end, Demps knows Coach’s scheme requires a legitimate starting center and that he needs to figure out how to deliver one. He failed to sign one before the trade deadline. Now, the next step is trying to shore up the roster during the offseason. Let’s hope our GM can figure out how to deliver a good big man, because both his and Coach Williams’ job security at the end of the 2014-15 season may depend on it.
9 months, 1 week ago on Pelicans Lose a “Close” Game to the Bobcats
Carmelo's ability to score 42 points in a game somehow came as a surprise? Prior to last night, his team had won only 8 road games all season. If only a couple of the Pelicans players who decided they would stink up the court for most of the game had decided to start playing before the 4th quarter, and if Eric Gordon had the stamina to play a full game instead of riding the bike most of the 4th quarter, then Melo's scoring outburst could have easily been negated.
9 months, 1 week ago on Melo Carries Knicks to 98-91 Victory over Pelicans
After every player except AD23 had a week off, this game against the Knicks was imminently winnable for the Pelicans. But the play of 4 men (Ajinca, Evans, Roberts & Babbitt) was HORRIBLE through the 1st 3 quarters. Stunningly bad. Aminu barely missed making this list, but only because of his rebounding. Though Aminu's normally a solid defender, Carmelo made him look like a schoolboy. How players can come out of a break and play so atrociously for the first 3 quarters of a home game is stunning. Eric Gordon looked like he was playing for a trade during the first 3 quarters, but then he spent the first 7 minutes of the 4th riding the stationary bike and failed to do anything at all (did he even touch the ball?) when he finally entered again towards the end of the game, when the team needed him the most. Walking out of the newly named "Smoothie King Center" for the very first time, I began to seriously question whether I might actually decline to renew my tickets next season. Ugh. The only good thing about last night was seeing Jrue Holiday walking around and sitting with his teammates.
Great article. I want to be the first person to buy Tyson Chandler and World Peace Pelicans jerseys.
9 months, 1 week ago on New Orleans Pelicans NBA Trade Deadline Rumor Mill
The worst thing about Chris Paul's departure was his initial, ongoing and continuing dishonesty about it. The best thing was the first time he returned to the New Orleans Arena in a Clippers uniform, seeing the dumbfounded expression on his face as he looked around at all the cheering Hornets fans following his loss to a ragtag bunch of nobodies.
9 months, 2 weeks ago on Chris Paul and the Tales of Yesteryear
Obviously this Sunday night in Brooklyn was lost due to the Pelicans' lack of offense in the 1st half. Mostly it was a tale of matchups where the absence of Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans was devastating. Watching Deron Williams guard Brian Roberts brought back memories from last year of how a slow footed point guard destroys a team's offense. Clearly Roberts is not as slow as Grevius Vasquez, but Deron Williams made him look like he is. And Eric Gordon's weaknesses as an offensive player were never more on display than when he was defended last night, mostly by Joe Johnson but occasionally by Deron Williams. Not having Holiday and Evans meant the Pels had no one who could consistently penetrate -- especially against Brooklyn's group of wily veterans who are fighting for a playoff spot and who weren't about to give up a loss at home to a bunch of upstarts from New Orleans. Austin Rivers penetrated better when he replaced Roberts, but that was usually when Jason Kidd shifted Williams over to defend Gordon. The fact that every Pelicans player had a negative +/- (except Darius Miller, who had a zero), and every Nets player except two had a positive +/- tells the story. Missing three of the team's strongest offensive weapons killed any chance the Pelicans had of sneaking in a win in Brooklyn.
9 months, 3 weeks ago on Ugly First Half Spells Doom for the Pelicans
During Sunday's television broadcast, it was mentioned several times that Tyreke Evans only feels like he's at 75%, which brings up an important issue about a man playing injured in today's NBA, especially for a team that's still in rebuilding mode as this Pelicans team is and for whom wins are largely meaningless. Supposedly the MRIs have shown there's no real risk of permanent damage to Tyreke's ankle by playing whenever he feels up to it. That's a bit remarkable, recalling how gruesome a couple of his ankle rolls looked in slow motion. What we're starting to see, however, are flashes of the old CP3 when the man would fight through pain and gut it out to give it his all out there on the court. Let's hope the recent media reports about a possible Evans trade are untrue, because the kind of tenacity, slashing, energy, ball handling/movement and leadership that Tyreke shows when he goes out there on the court night after night at 75% should make every Pelicans fan salivate at the thought of his playing a full season in a New Orleans uniform at 100% (hopefully that will be next year).
10 months, 1 week ago on Pelicans snap losing streak against Grizzlies
If looks could kill, the refs would be dead after calling foul #6 against Tim Duncan last night.
10 months, 2 weeks ago on Short-handed Pelicans play Spurs tough but come up short, losing 101-95
Nice headline, Ryan.
10 months, 2 weeks ago on Pelicans fall just a touch short on the Road
Give up your man crush on Rivers, sport. Obviously, the team should have passed on Austin with the 10th pick and should have taken Jeremy Lamb or Kendall Marshall instead.
10 months, 2 weeks ago on Shorthanded Pelicans Dropped by Mavericks
How is it humanly possible for Brian Roberts to start an NBA game as a point guard, play 25 minutes and only get one assist? Mr. 5 thumbs Anthony Morrow somehow got 2 assists in 11 minutes, and Stiemsma (yes, Stiemsma!) tied Roberts with 1 assist but played less than half of Roberts' minutes and barely touched the ball. Up until last night, it seemed some of the criticism of Roberts was overdone (esp. since he was playing a very limited role), but now with Jrue Holiday sidelined it's obvious this man impacts the team negatively. It's now time to go all-in with Austin Rivers (he's really been a huge disappointment so far in his two seasons, but at least he knows how to pass the damn ball!), cut ties with Brian and start a new experiment with Pierre Jackson.
10 months, 3 weeks ago on Shorthanded Pelicans Dropped by Mavericks
Looking for common ground, I think we're in agreement that we'd both like to see Tyreke Evans in the starting lineup instead of Eric Gordon. I'd just prefer to see Gordon wearing another team's uniform when that happens. Until he's contracted with another team, I'm EJ's biggest fan.
10 months, 3 weeks ago on Game On: Washington Wizards at New Orleans Pelicans
Your argument would be more appropriate for a team on the cusp of becoming competitive for a championship. The Pelicans are a long way from that. Gordon's trade value will be significantly less as a 6th man coming off the bench. It's better for the team long term to keep him in the starting lineup right now because wins and losses are irrelevant this year, and because we want him to keep playing a lot of minutes in the hope he will stay healthy, perform well and entice another team to take him off our hands.
Maybe it's fun or interesting -- well, perhaps only a little bit, I suppose -- for fans and writers to speculate about how Dell Demps and Monty Williams ought to be doing their jobs. But mostly it's comical. The worst idea being bandied about lately is that Coach ought to bench Eric Gordon from the starting lineup. That would be a disasterous decision that would make EJ virtually untradeable. Benching him would turn him into our Andrew Bynum. Remember how Saints Coach Jim Haslett benched QB Aaron Brooks at the end of the Hurricane Katrina season and then Brooks became a pariah that no team would trade for? At least in the NFL, Brooks' contract was unguaranteed, so even though the Saints got nothing in exchange for the man who'd been their starting QB for several years, at least they weren't stuck with a guaranteed contract. Gordon on the other hand should be the player all Pelicans fans are rooting for. We should want him to be one of the highest scorers on the team, stay healthy and keep his shooting percentages up. Otherwise, we'll have to suffer through several years of a sulking, overpaid shooting guard with a guaranteed contract and redundant skills. Go, Eric Gordon! Play great every night as a Pelicans starter during the 2013-14 season. And then -- as soon as possible -- go to another team.
I readily admit Michael knows a lot more about NBA basketball than I do, so if he can't figure out how Eric Gordon can dominate the first half against the Pacers and then disappear in the 2nd half, then I won't even take a stab at it. Last night's game, however, was reminiscent of the first several games of this season without Ryan Anderson available to come of the bench and make our opponent fearful of (and concerned about defending) our 3 point shooting. Seeing Ryan carried off the court on a stretcher should remind all Pelicans fans what these men risk every night and how fragile they are. It's no coincidence that the Pacers have been one of the healthiest teams so far this year and also have the best record in the league.
10 months, 3 weeks ago on Indiana Blitzes New Orleans in the Second Half, Defeat Pelicans 99-82
One very important thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is how significant it was that Robin Lopez got an early second foul and had to sit. Lopez began the game with a rarely seen intensity that seemed designed to try to show Dell Demps and Tom Benson they made a mistake in letting him go. He was clogging up the paint and playing very good defense against AD23. As soon as Lopez was on the bench, the lanes opened up and the points in the paint by the Pelicans started raining down on the Blazers' heads like a thunderstorm. Lopez is probably in the bottom five or ten of current starting NBA centers, and there's no doubt the Pels are better off with Tyreke Evans instead of Lopez and Vasquez on the roster. But Lopez's early exit last night demonstrates, once again, how important it is to a team's defense to have a decent starting center. It's obvious from the Ajinca signing that Mr. Demps gets this; it's just a matter of time before he fills in this last piece of the puzzle. And then, who knows how good this team can become.
11 months ago on Pelicans Get Their Biggest Victory of the Year, Defeat Blazers 110-108
Tyson Chandler looked like a miserable human being playing for the Knicks yesterday at Madison Square Garden. He and most of the other Knicks players have to be looking for ways to bail on that rudderless team. Chandler would be a great addition to help remedy the Pelican's defensive woes. Perhaps Dell Demps can put together some type of multi-team trade that somehow dumps Eric Gordon's terrible contract and brings Tyson back to New Orleans.
11 months, 1 week ago on The New Orleans Pelicans’ Biggest Problem
There’s been a lot of talk during the last few years about whether a starting center is really needed or wanted on an NBA team anymore. This talk only started because we’ve begun to see teams win without one (Spurs, Thunder and Heat, for example). Bosh is not a true center, Tim Duncan is really a power forward, and the best center on the Thunder is Kendrick Perkins. The truth is that every NBA team – given the choice – would prefer to have a solid starting center as opposed to not having one on their team. Similar to the quarterback position in the NFL, there unfortunately are not enough quality players alive in the world today for every NBA team to have a legitimate starting center. Only about half of current NBA teams have one on their roster today. Look at the teams who have succeeded without a legitimate center, and it’s obvious they each have more than one superstar on their team that helps overcome the lack of a center. Clogging up the paint with a good big goes a long way towards making a team better defensively. Look at how the Pels abused the Grizzlies inside recently with Marc Gasol sidelined. Notice how the Heat only started to take over the game the other night against the Pacers when Hibbert fouled out. Pelicans fans should wait until Dell Demps gives Monty Williams a good starting center on the roster. If the team still struggles after that, perhaps it might be appropriate then to start heaping blame on the head coach.
11 months, 1 week ago on Clippers Beat Pelicans Because of Only One Reason
With 46 seconds left and a 12 point lead, Chris Paul took and missed a 3 point jump shot. Then after DeAndre Jordan rebounded Paul's miss, with a 12 point lead and with 7 seconds left on the shot clock, CP3 assisted on a 3 pointer with just 28 seconds left to go in the game. Eight seconds later, during the next stoppage of play, Doc Rivers took Chris Paul out of the game. This all came after CP3 made a 3 pointer with 1:54 left to play in the game and missed a 2 point shot with 1:37 left to play, a 14 point lead and 12 seconds remaining on the shot clock.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on Clippers Beat Pelicans Because of Only One Reason