Christmas Day is normally a time for sharing, giving and lots of happiness. The Pelicans exhibited none of these qualities in their 53 minutes against the Heat in Miami, a complete reversal from the game on Wednesday against the Trail Blazers.
|Assists||Turnovers||Forced Turnovers||Points off Turnovers||Fast Break Points||Three-Point Attempts|
|12/23 vs Trail Blazers||27||11||14||25||12||31|
|12/25 vs Heat||19||19||18||2||2||20|
Alvin Gentry's system calls for ball movement, pace and floor-spacing three-point attempts. It was evident against Portland but was nowhere to be found in Miami. I had forewarned the game against the Trail Blazers was an illusion, but not in my wildest dreams did I expect the Pelicans would follow it up with such an ineffective, inefficient and anti-Gentry performance.
From the tip, Anthony Davis was stellar, and by halftime he had recorded an NBA first for the season.
Davis is the first player with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the 1st half of a game this season.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 25, 2015
As mentioned in the quick recap, his line threatened 5x5 status, but finished marvelous nonetheless (29 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals 3 blocks). Sadly, the same could not be said of his teammates. Outside of Ryan Anderson's 12-point fourth quarter, no one showed any consistency.
Tyreke Evans was undoubtedly the biggest offender. His line should give you the first clue: 6 points (2-9 FGs), 7 assists, 6 rebounds and 5 turnovers. Besides his goof in the final seconds of regulation that forced Alvin Gentry to burn another timeout, his decision making was putrid throughout.
Wut in the Wide Wide World of Sports is goin' on here? pic.twitter.com/wHHxFXOPvf— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) December 25, 2015
Key component to Dribble Drive is attacking before the catch. Then watch Tyreke with awful effort. https://t.co/iOuBM72Ptk— BBALLBREAKDOWN (@bballbreakdown) December 25, 2015
Tyreke… https://t.co/5zrOf4h5nO— Mike Prada (@MikePradaSBN) December 25, 2015
I could definitely add more salt to the wound, like the bullet pass by Evans through Asik's hands after he dribbled into traffic, but that would just be redundant at this point. Evans had a Christmas to forget, too bad it came on national television.
Following the game, we learned Evans was dealing with illness, but it doesn't absolve two matters. One, unless there is a new strain out there, the flu shouldn't affect decision-making. Two, Gentry played Evans 35 minutes, when he was both sick and awful throughout the contest. I get that Jrue Holiday wasn't available due to his remaining restrictions, but go ahead and give Norris Cole a few more minutes, or even better, throw Luke Babbitt or Toney Douglas out there. New Orleans wasn't playing with much pace anyways plus it's not even possible their output could have been worse.
- It's pretty impressive the small-ball lineups were as effective as they were considering the game's shooting percentages and lack of easy points. For the umpteenth time this season, the starting lineup proved it needs dismantling. Evans-Gordon-Gee-Davis-Ask combined for -41.8 Net Rating in 11 minutes. They couldn't make a shot (36.8%), push the pace (89.08) nor stop the Heat (52.6 FG%). Meanwhile the finishing five (Evans-Holiday-Gordon-Davis-Anderson) spent a mere 4 minutes on the floor together. Never mind the fact they had a +21.2 Net Rating, a 57.1 FG% or a pace factor of 116.37.
- ESPN caught Chris Bosh talking a ton of trash to Anthony Davis. I loved it and I can't help but wonder if that was a big reason for AD's stat line. We've witnessed more than once this season that Davis has trouble stoking his fire so perhaps we owe Bosh a thank you card.
- Dante Cunningham played 6 minutes and Alonzo Gee 17. The Miami Heat never went small and with the Pelicans failing to push the pace, let alone score fast break points or off turnovers, what was the point?
Yeah, so Anthony Davis played 50 minutes and a sick Tyreke Evans, 35, but the Pelicans have to play the Houston Rockets tomorrow night. Watch for David's full preview later tonight, but who else is worried we'll have to use or see the phrase, 'tired legs?'