|2013/2014 NBA Season|
|January 4, 2014, 6:00 PM CDT|
|Jrue Holiday||George Hill|
|Eric Gordon||Lance Stephenson|
|Al-Farouq Aminu||Paul George|
|Anthony Davis||David West|
|Alexis Ajinca||Roy Hibbert|
|Advanced Stats (2013/14)|
|93.3 (19)||Pace||92.8 (21)|
|108.9 (6)||ORtg||105.3 (14)|
|108.8 (26)||DRtg||95.7 (1)|
Back on opening night, the Pelicans were less than 2 minutes away from upsetting the Pacers. However, Indiana stormed back from a 16-point deficit to walk away the winner. The Pels did plenty of things well that game: tied the Pacers for points in the paint and won the rebounding, fast break and turnover battles. Unfortunately, New Orleans bugaboo -- # of opponent free throw attempts -- decided the game. The Pacers attempted 30 freebies on the night, but the 9 in the final 1:36 (all makes) hurt the most.
Just as the first time around, the Pelicans will most likely play without the services of Ryan Anderson, this time to a cervical stinger:
Pelicans sideline reporter Jennifer Hale relayed the news that Anderson was diagnosed with a cervical stinger. Hale was told by the team’s training staff that a cervical stinger is "an injury to nerves in (the) neck or shoulder that cause burning or stinging."
No Anderson nor Jason Smith is going to allow the Pacers to really pack the paint. Consequently, our speed is going to have to be a bigger factor than usual. Points in transition and a lot of easy baskets from movement within the offense will be important. It might also behoove Monty Williams to experiment with playing a smaller lineup in spurts as rolling with an Ajinca-Stiemsma tandem seems to play right into the Pacers' hands.
In addition, several of our players will need to pick up the slack from the outside. In our win against the Celtics, the Pels only attempted 6 three pointers, 3 from players not named Anderson! In our first match-up against the Pacers, we hoisted a mere 11 shots from the outside. It doesn't matter if we shoot them at a good clip -- we have to open the middle for our paint-attacking offense any which way possible without Anderson roaming the perimeter.
The Pelicans have a tall order: beat one of the best teams in the NBA, who are 15-1 at home, without several vital members of the offense. Perhaps, and let's hope, they will be unusually motivated. To win one for their buddy they left behind in Boston.
- Thoughts and prayers remain with Ryan Anderson.
- Amin Elhassan believes the Pelicans might be a destination for Andrew Bynum.