Preview And Chat: Those (Scary) New Orleans Pelicans

Phillip Barnett —  November 8, 2013

Tonight, the Lakers are on the second of a back-to-back against the New Orleans Pelicans following a huge, emotional win. This isn’t the first time that the Lakers have faced this situation as the Lakers won on Opening Night against the Clippers at Staples only to travel up north to Golden State, which resulted in a blowout loss.

The win over the Rockets may have been even more emotionally draining as they saw a huge lead in the first half dwindle in the second half, and even saw it eclipsed in the final minutes of the game, only to see Mike D’Antoni employ the Hack-A-Howard strategy to keep the team in the game. The game would then end in dramatic fashion as Steve Blake came off a screen and knocked down a game-winning three with Howard closing out.

Instead of having time to celebrate a huge win, the team was forced to re-focus their attention onto the newly named Pelicans of New Orleans, who enter tonight’s game with a 2-3 record. Despite their record, the Pelicans have a Top 10 offense and a defense right on the outside of the top third of the league, and a lot of that credit goes to young Anthony Davis, who is averaging over 21 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks on the young season. Jrue Holiday has provided defenses with some problems with his speed, but hasn’t been effective as many expected when the Hornets brought him in.

The same can be said for Tyreke Evans. After a phenomenal rookie year with the Kings, Evans hasn’t really lived up to the promise of his inaugural year in the NBA. Many assumed the change in scenery would get him to where many though he’d be at this point in his career, but that simply hasn’t been the case. Even with his struggles, the Lakers will have to keep him and the likes of Holiday and Eric Gordon out of the lane if they are to be successful tonight. Last night, the Lakers had issues containing James Harden — and while none of these guys are dynamic and crafty as Hardin, they can provide issues to the weary legs of the older guys and the inexperience of the youngsters.

Should the Lakers not keep the perimeter, that could open up things for Davis, who has been great in P&R sets and the benefactor of lobs from guards who are able to compromise the defense.

On the offensive end, the Lakers are going to need some better ball movement than they had last night. After a first half that saw the team shoot an outstanding 11-14 from three in the first half, the team kind of just stood around the perimeter for the whole second half and watched their lead dwindle. On a second of a back-to-back, this absolutely cannot happen.

Getting off to a hot start will also be huge tonight. Against the Warriors, they allowed Klay Thompson to get off to a hot start and never recovered. The Lakers have proven that they have the shooting that can get a team back in a game should they fall behind a few possessions, but they have yet to prove that they’re a team that has the mental toughness to come back from a huge deficit to get the stops they need and run the offense with enough trust in each other to get quality looks.

Tonight, the Lakers will stay with the bigger starting lineup with Kaman and Gasol sharing the frontcourt, with Jodie Meeks starting in the place of Nash. D’Antoni is still working on his lineups and rotations, and will have to find the right combinations tonight to provide the energy and chemistry needed to get another win on the road.

Where you can watch: 6:30pm start on TNT. Also listen on ESPN Radio 710AM.

Phillip Barnett

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46 responses to Preview And Chat: Those (Scary) New Orleans Pelicans

  1. For Warren.

    And let’s hope for another big game from the unlikeliest of Lakers. Steven Hanson Blake, I christen thee: Gummo Mamba.

  2. Game is on at 5:00pm Pacific, per Lakers.com

  3. Also, please double-check. I think it’s a 5p tipoff…. as in three minutes from now.

  4. Evans, Holuday , Gordon, Davis. That’s a darn good starting lineup . How did that happen?

  5. Ouch rather seevJohnson then Zypung

  6. Game is too early. I live in the east coast and its too early.

  7. Sweet pass Pau .. Sweet

  8. Anthony Davis – somebody stop the guy. We need Metta to ‘enforce’ on Unibrow.

  9. It’s OK; the Lakers have a built in excuse to drop this one; second game of a back to back a grueling 9 games into the season, coming off an emotional win, ect.

  10. Did I miss a few games R?

  11. Sub coach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Good ball movement for that Jordan dunk!

    The Lakers look fresh, they are starting to believe.

  12. Must be from watching Dwight. 7 missed FT

  13. Pau has to give the team a little something on offense. My goodness, he looks terrible! Davis is salivating!!

  14. Pau can barely walk out there.. Are his legs alright?

  15. Sorry but Young is mostly just out of control.

  16. Pau’s game is washed on the post. Slow moves, no lift and no deception. Jumpers may be the way this year.

  17. Pfffft, here is that maddening inconsistency, cant sustain any damn momentum, porous D and sloopy play.we need this win to go to the the homestand with a winning record and try to get some track.

  18. Our free throw shooting in the 1st half was atrocious. Meeks, on a 3 on 1 fast break, pulling up for a 3 pointer was unbelievable. Farmar looked good running the team during his time on the floor. Nick Young might as well be on a Milk carton and Pau just looks old.

    I believe that it was Aaron who mentioned it before this season started and if so, looking at Anthony Davis, I happen to agree with him that Davis is on the verge of being the best PF in the league.

  19. Once again pau looks awful. I’m surprised he has 9 points but it all came of others setting him up with wide open lay ups. He’s been beat down the court every single play. He’s had a bunch of rebound snatch from in front of him. And is awful and contesting shots in the paint. He looks very unsure what he’s suppose to do out there. Other than that assist to kaman he’s been bad. If he’s hurt then somewhat understandable but I don’t think pau is hurt. I may be critical of him but he’s should be the best player on the court and he looks like he doesn’t want the ball

  20. Pau Gasol continues to be pathetic.

  21. Wow Kobe thinks the sun is out.

  22. This team may not win rings (or even make the playoffs at all), but I enjoy watching them so much more than last year – effort and team play is infectious.

  23. Pau is now shooting 38% for the year. Worst of his career. Good thing Kamen was signed.

  24. Beautiful passing leads to a Meeks 3

  25. Love the way that Hill is clearing the boards.
    Hate the way he’s shooting his free throws.

    Is anyone else’s comments being held up in moderation for long periods of time?

  26. Keno – touche’

  27. Why isn’t Kaman in the game.

    All pau does is set screens and he’s bad at that to.

  28. With sunglasses on, no one can see Kobe’s death stare!

    Pau acts as though his knees are ailing. He’s also picked up Howard’s dropitis, I have never seen the ball his hands and glance off as much as I have this year.

  29. Cant put togheter a freaking 2 win streak.Losing to the freaking Pelicans. This team is incapable of built any momentun. Im done watching.

  30. Pau’s been the 3rd best big this year in all honestly.

  31. Live ball turnovers really hurting the Lakers.

  32. Pau is playing himself into a vet min contract next season. The Pelicans have a better team than us, im ashamed, were are going to play 6 of 7 on Staples and probably lose around 5 or 6 of those.

  33. They all looked tired. No energy at all.

    On to the next one.

  34. Anthony Davis is a monster.

    That is all.

  35. I have a comment that’s been stuck in moderation for 50 mins.

    Too much Pau in this game.

  36. Anthony Davis impressive tonight for the Pelicans. Lakers had their chances but could not get it done tonight. Kaman should have played in the 4th quarter as he was having a nice game tonight.

  37. Our last 2 wins have been lucky, really, by all rights this should be a 1-6 team. When i think they are getting some momentum they throw clunkers like in Dallas and this one.Cant even put togheter a measly 2 win streak.

  38. Have a comment, that’s been stuck in moderation for over an hour, basically praising Anthony Davis. Tonight, he’s made Pau look like a senior citizen.

  39. I’m glad everyone is on the bandwagfon I was on alone the last two and a half years… Pau is done. Bynum and Dwight really protected him. People thought those guys were the reason he wasn’t getting the ball in the high post. The reason actually was he wasn’t good anymore. Two years ago he was still good enough to be a good role player playing off Bynum and Kobe. Last year he wasn’t good enough to be a role pkayer anymore. Very sad to see. He is only 33. But guys who dont have good work ethics (see Melo) don’t age well.

  40. I have a stronger word than that Tra and it starts with a B.

  41. Aaron, work ethic? Or the gazillion minutes he have play here and for his country, thats not lazy in my book.

  42. Aaron

    Right on the money except the work ethic part. The fact his he can’t play at a level that warrants him 35 min a night. I hope I’m wrong, but the it’s pretty clear. He’s Big Z from Cleveland now. The guy lost his post game. He can’t get position and if he does his shot gets blocked or he throws ou a brick. Gasol is awful on defense. I would’ve never thought Kaman was a better defender than pau but he is. Pau refuses to contest shots at the rim. It’s either that or he has bricks in his shoes and too slow to get in position. The second pau comes back in from a rest teams just attack the rim. It’s sad but I can’t foresee him being a laker after allstar break if this type of play continues. Again I hope I’m wrong.

  43. I thought Pau was battling some respiratory illness. Anyway, Pau is not playing up to his $19 million contract. Lakers are lucky his contract expires this offseason.

    The Lakers should have lost yesterdays game. During the first half, they were extremely hot, knocking down almost every 3. Rockets had several open shots which didn’t go in. 4th Quarter, they hack Howard and of course he can’t make free throws. Lakers then win on a game winner by steve blake. Basically my point is Lakers can only win games where they are shooting lights out and the opponent has a off night. They have too many problems whether it be lack of talent, lack of defense or turnovers.

  44. Last night against Houston, Gasol was 1-10. Tonight against NO, 3-12. That means, in the last 2 games he’s shooting 4-22.

    I’m concerned. No one shoots 4-22. Not even Kurt Rambis in his glory days. Are Pau’s legs alright? Is he at the end? The last two nights he seemed to have no lift whatsoever.

    Also, in general, I think the Lakers may have run out of gas tonight. Their scoring by quarters tonight was 27 – 21 – 18 – 19. That’s 37 pts. in the 2nd half.

    I think the best thing for them is to get home and get a good night’s sleep.

  45. .. and it starts with a B.

    Hilarious Fern.

    Thanks a lot C.Hearn. I see that I’m not the only one.

  46. There is for sure something wrong with Pau. Will they have to start giving him 2nd days off ? $27 Million watching with Pau and Nash. Now neither are even trade bait. Signs were there on both last year. To bad management chooses to live in the past. Our best big is Kamen? Wow did Lakers become the old Clippers really fast.