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Lakers 116, Pelicans 95 - "Hoo boy, that went downhill quick"


Harry How

Well, gross.

I just got home from this game, and it's late, and so I'll refrain from making too many grand, sweeping statements here. About how truly awfully Tyreke Evans' game fits with this team. About how astoundingly better than Grance Onuamundsma Jeff Withey was in his first real game. About how Austin Rivers looks, eh, just about as effective as Jrue Holiday and actually better on defense. About how startlingly few plays Monty Williams ran for Eric Gordon before the game was completely out of reach. About how Anthony Morrow didn't have one long distance shooting play drawn up for him until garbage time. About how a team featuring Eric Gordon (37%), Anthony Morrow (43%), Brian Roberts (39%), and Jrue Holiday (38%) attempted seven (SEVEN!) threes before the pathetic free-for-all of the game's final three minutes.

New Orleans was crushed in so many facets of the game tonight -- a horrible 70% defensive rebound rate, 40% shooting from the floor fueled by possession after possession of offensively inept players banging their respective heads against the same brick wall, an exorbitant foul rate, and most exasperatingly, the same horrifically flawed defensive system and its associated rotations that doomed the Hornets a year ago.

The excuses can flow just as freely (and justifiably!) tonight as on other nights -- Anthony Davis' foul trouble doomed the defense and, largely, the offense, Ryan Anderson's still out, it was a road game for a young team, and so forth. But with Anderson's return on the horizon and with it becoming increasingly clear that Rivers and Withey need to play roles on a mind-bogglingly atrocious bench, Monty Williams is going to run out of those excuses soon enough. And when he does, 20+ point blowout losses to at-best mediocre teams featuring the likes of Xavier Henry, Chris Kaman, and Wesley Johnson are simply not going to cut it.

And I think everyone here knows it.