clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

New Orleans Pelicans fall to Atlanta Hawks, 96-89

The final score fails to tell the whole story of the Pelicans fourth consecutive preseason loss.

NBA: Preseason-New Orleans Pelicans at Atlanta Hawks Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks (4-2) knocked off the New Orleans Pelicans (1-4) in Atlanta Tuesday night, 96-89.

New Orleans shot just 38.8 percent, hovering around that number, usually lower, pretty much the entire game. The Pels shot 34.8 percent and were down 18 at half with 11 turnovers, the Hawks shot 50 percent with 18 assists in the first 24 minutes and the Pels never seriously threatened until the last 2 minutes of regulation. The Hawks finished with over 50 rebounds and spent much of the game shooting 50 percent or higher, although they finished under 42 percent thanks to hella garbage time. They also totaled 25 assists and just 19 fouls; generally, Atlanta played an efficient game.

Things didn’t go so great for New Orleans; the game as a whole, in fact, was pretty ugly.

Notably, Langston Galloway ran over Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer chasing a ball going out of bounds... and Bud already had a bulky wrap on his hand. He left the game and didn’t return - why would he?

This wasn’t even the only time we had a player-in-the-stands situation!

Back on the floor, Atlanta brought the mop-up crew out for some interestingly bad minutes against the Pelicans starters in the fourth quarter. Walter Tavares (his name is Edy, which I didn’t know), Taurean Prince and DeAndre’ Bembry really beat up Frazier, Hield and Cunningham, which was a little scary to see.

Terrence Jones had 18 points (2 threes) and four rebounds, flashing very real dribbling and shooting skills. He looked good enough to warrant more time. Hield struggled from the floor, making just 5-of-15 shots (0-for-6 from 3s) but did have a nice burst in the fourth quarter. Solomon Hill played a team-high 37 minutes, scoring 13 with 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals. New Orleans only made 7-of-24 threes, with 2 each from Galloway, Hill and Jones.

Galloway and Lance Stephenson played a fair amount in garbage time, totaling 21 and 22 minutes, respectively. Lance danced and seemed to help the offense, especially early; Galloway might be needing more minutes if he can take and make threes, finishing with the team’s highest offensive rating (over 102) for the game.

Rebounding numbers weren’t so great for the Pels in both raw numbers and Reb%. To me, the rebounding was a symptom of a larger problem: the Pelicans cannot easily or often produce good offense and therefore miss many more shots than they make. I’ll discuss point guard Tim Frazier below, and playmaking is a responsibility of the point guard, other wings, and coaches, but the biggest issue is the talent sitting on the bench in street clothes. Come back soon everybody!

Injury report: Jrue Holiday (personal), Tyreke Evans (right knee), Quincy Pondexter (left knee), Anthony Davis (right ankle sprain), E’Twaun Moore (right heel contusion) and Robert Sacre (right foot) were OUT. OH YEAH, ALSO THE HEAD COACH WAS OUT SICK.

Cool, cool.

What I was watching:

Atlanta going all in

Atlanta made it known before the game they’d be playing with their full deck of starters, allowing viewers to see this team at full strength for the first time this year. This news started out as a random tweet I saw to being the number one story of the Atlanta home team broadcast; I’ll just say I prefer Joel Meyers and David Wesley. I guess they’re loooking for anything to fill minutes, but it’s not that big of a deal. Well, wait: the Pelicans didn’t even have their head coach, nevertheless half the regular core. Celebrate it while you can, Atlanta fans!

ATL’s starting five in 2016-17: Out are Jeff Teague (to Indiana) and Al Horford (Boston) and in are Dennis Schroder (from the bench) and Dwight Howard (Houston).

Still there: Paul Millsap, Kent Bazemore and Kyle Korver. Good ol’ Kyle. Baze was discussed as a wing target in the off-season, but he stayed with ATL and signed for 4 years/$70M. Imagining his elite athleticism, prior up-ramp in playing time and responsibilities, improved three-ball and potential stopper status would be a heck of a combination with AD. Just sayin’. Baze used his quickness and smarts to draw two off-ball, moving screen fouls on Omer Asik. Smart plays by Baze to take advantage.

Atlanta is one of those teams with hidden skills, like: the overall team defense, which rated as 2nd and 6th in the league in the last two seasons; Millsap’s passes; and wing depth with Korver, Bazemore and Thabo Sefolosha being as long and multi-skilled as any wing corps in the entire NBA.

Tim Frazier, who are you?

There’s a lot of positive Tim Frazier talk out there in Basketball Twitterland; the bandwagon is supposedly filling up, but I’m still doubtful. I’m feeling Ish Smith flashbacks. Tonight’s rough outing didn’t do anything to dissuade me; just 1 preseason game, I know. NOTE: Look who is surrounding Frazier. There’s tons of injuries and maybe his best offensive option tonight was unproven rookie Buddy Hield.

Tim Frazier in first 7 minutes: 0 shots, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers. He exhibited nice speed and forced the tempo early, leading to uncoordinated play (bobbles, ill-timed passes) by the rest of the Pels.

First half: 1 (missed) shot (3-pointer), 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 steal, -9. Frazier’s attacks early in the shot clock proved fruitless earlier in the game, and maybe he was doing what the coaches asked to help get those other guys to join his pushes, but maybe try a different way of attacking than just a full-on sprint time after time, especially when it’s not working.

I tend to think he was just working on stuff, regardless of the outcome. This is the pre-season and he’s out there without Davis, so expectations immediately plummet. In the second half, though, things went better (sort of). Frazier played through the early pass a bit more, getting the ball to other guys like Galloway and Hill... but then he also committed too many fouls, four personals and a tech. Frazier finished with 5 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 turnovers and a +6.

So, who is Tim Frazier? Other than being a back-up, I still don’t know.