Coming into tonight's game in our nation's capital, most of the talk centered around what kind of encore could Anthony Davis deliver after his marvelous 59 point-20 rebound outing against the Detroit Pistons. At the half, New Orleans trailed Washington 54-51 and Davis had a mere four points. No matter, with the game close, surely New Orleans would wake up and feed their superstar, right?
Yeah...Anthony Davis only got nine field goal attempts tonight. Davis, again may I remind you all, scored 59 points Sunday afternoon. Anthony Davis got fewer shots than Norris Cole (what else is new), Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson and only one more look than both Dante Cunningham and Toney Douglas. Does anyone else see a problem with this???
Now maybe it's okay that Davis didn't get as many shots as most would have liked. After all, 10 other Pelican players took to the court, and as long as they performed well, Davis' shot attempts would be a moot point in the grand scheme of things. Yeah about that... New Orleans got ramrodded 31-14 by the Wizards in the third quarter, highlighted by being on the wrong side of a 19-0 run. This wasn't exactly a "tale of two halves" game because the Pelicans actually competed in the fourth quarter, playing Washington to a 24-24 draw in the final frame. Nope, this game was lost in the third.
I went back and watched that disastrous third frame, because I'm into that kind of risque self-hating kind of action, and here's what I noticed:
- Toney Douglas started the half in place of both Norris Cole (fine, I guess) and Jrue Holiday (lolwut). The reasoning behind the decision is...reasons?
- The first nine possessions of the half for New Orleans resulted in zero points. The drought was highlighted by a shot clock violation, another turnover, and a DeJean-Jones airball. Not ideal!
- Alvin Gentry took two timeouts within a 61 second span, each after a Jared Dudley three. Holiday finally checked in (along with Kendrick Perkins lolololol) at the 9:16 mark, but the Wizards lead had grown to 11 at that point and they were riding a 13-0 run.
- Washington hit five three point shots before New Orleans made a single basket.
- Ryan Anderson didn't enter the game until the 7:42 mark... with the Wizards leading by 17. Remember Gentry took two timeouts within a minute of each other and waited until now to insert Anderson. "Well we need offense, but I dunno, down 11 seems too ideal to put in some potential instant offense, let's ride this bad boy out and see how it goes." Alvin Gentry said that, probably. In a past life Alvin Gentry probably would've had a seat on a Titanic lifeboat but passed because he thought the boat would stop sinking.
- Kendrick Perkins saw significant minutes in the third, and the game as a whole. Even after watching the quarter back, I'm still not sure if I dreamt that or not has anyone seen my Inception totem?
- The Pelicans went into halftime trailing by three points. At the end of the third, that deficit would increase to 20. So... congrats?
I don't know if giving AD more looks would've changed the result. To their credit, the Wizards shot 46 percent from the floor and three (including 12 made treys), had more rebounds, assists, points in the paint and fast break points. I'd be remiss if I failed to mention John Wall's triple-double, Marcin Gortat's 21 and 11 and Jared Dudley hitting on six three pointers. A few more Davis attempts probably doesn't undo all of that, but using your star big man less often than Charlie Sheen uses protection is a complete failure by Alvin Gentry.
Tonight was a frustrating loss for New Orleans because it didn't have to be like that. All somebody had to do was say, hey let's get Anthony Davis the damn ball and see if good stuff happens. And yet everyone from Gentry, Holiday, Cole, and apparently Davis himself didn't have the self-awareness to come to that realization.
Oh and since misery loves company, at least the Pelicans weren't the only Louisiana team with a star big man to get blasted by 20 points on the road against a team with a losing record. How bout them Tigers?