Pelicans Drop 2nd Straight in Loss to Jazz


It’s a tough life that Anthony Davis leads. Last night he got injured when Chris Paul forced some unnecessary contact in transition, and tonight he put up and insane stat-line of 36 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks on 12/18 shooting from the field and 12/15 from the line with ZERO help from his supporting cast.

The rest of the Pelicans shot 17/51 from the field, averaging out to 33%.

That’s unacceptable.

You cannot ask AD to go out there and kill himself putting up 30 point games on 66% shooting when the guys around him can barely chip in and make 2o total shots. I’m not necessarily blaming any one guy in particular, I’m blaming the entire team.

It’s was nice to be able to lean on Ish Smith making heat check floaters, Gordon getting hot from three, and Ryan Anderson making that signature Dirk fade-away but there will be nights when those shots don’t fall. The question to Dell Demps and the fans of this team is whether those shots are something we can rely on, or if they simply were there to bail us out these past few games.

Nov 28, 2015; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Gordon (10) drives with the ball defended by Utah Jazz forward Joe Ingles (2) in the first half at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The slow starts are the worst part.

Once again the Pelicans were killed in early part of the game, and forced to try and come back after halftime. At halftime the Pelicans were down nine points, shooting 35% from the floor, 0/7 from three, and had 11 less rebounds than the Jazz (nine of which were offensive).

Going small against teams like the Jazz with physical rim-protecting centers means you’re going to lose the rebounding battle, but going big means you’re stuck with Omer Asik who might be the worst offensive player in the entire league at center.

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Additionally, teams like the Jazz force the Pelicans to play at their slow pace. The Jazz used up the shot-clock and grinded out their offensive possessions in the half-court. At times the Pelicans were able to get out in transition and string together multiple stops, but the Jazz were quick to call a timeout whenever they lost control.

Still, the fact remains that if the Pelicans were simply able to prevent slow starts in the first quarter they would be in an infinitely better position to avoid blowouts and try to make the game competitive.

They tend to succeed best with Anderson and Ish on the floor instead of Gee and Asik, though admittedly you’re sacrificing defense when you make that swap.

After missing their first nine three pointers, the Pelicans finally hit one in the third quarter. That shot was followed by a fantastic run focused on transition play and defense which pulled the Pelicans within seven points.

The Jazz called timeout, adjusted, and were up by almost 20 a few minutes later.

In the fourth quarter the Pelicans started to get back into it. Anderson still wasn’t hitting, Ish couldn’t find a late to drive in, and Jrue seemed uncomfortable due to his sporadically limited playing time. AD looked amazing out there, but as we’ve begun to learn that simply isn’t enough.

Nov 28, 2015; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) holds the ball as New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) defends during the first half at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Despite little to no help, AD brought the Pelicans within 6 points (the closest they got all game) with about four minutes and 20 seconds to go. It looked like they might make a run, before Trevor Booker and Alec Burks exploded and put the game out of reach.

Burks would end the game with 21 points on 9/14 shooting to go along with five rebounds and four assists. Booker would end the game with just 13 points on 5/8 shooting, but with an insane 15 rebounds (four of which were offensive).

Booker and Gobert would combine for 29 rebounds in this game, followed by seven blocks.

A few heat-check step-backs form Burks put the game out of reach, and AD left the floor with the look of defeat on his face.

With a back to back against the Rockets and Cavaliers next on the Pelicans schedule, one would hope AD gets a little more help than he did tonight.

Despite how much we expect from him, he can’t do it all by himself…..