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Thread: December 12th - New Orleans Pelicans VS Oklahoma City Thunder - 14-15

  1. #1

    Pelicans December 12th - New Orleans Pelicans VS Oklahoma City Thunder - 14-15

    The good news is that we're back at home. The bad news is almost everything else.

    Hyperbole aside though, this is looking like it could be a rough one. OKC are currently ranked 1st seed in the West, having gone 17-4 over their last 21 games and playing well on both ends of the floor. Russ is having triple doubles, PG is actually scoring now, and it's all going their way. Let's take a look at their rankings:

    Offensive Rating: 18th
    Defensive Rating: 1st
    Rebounds per game: 14th
    Assists per game: 25th
    Steals per game: 1st
    Blocks per game: 17th
    2pt percentage: 12th
    3pt percentage: 28th

    In a way, OKC is like the evil mirror of our team right now. They're also exemplary at some things (Defensive rting, steals) while being entirely awful at others (assists, blocks), and yet somehow they're winning a lot more than us. The question is, of course, how? And the answer is this: our offense is elite, 3rd in the league, but our defense is bottom of the barrel. With OKC, their defense is elite, top of the league, but they've managed to keep a mediocre offense alive. Myself and others have said that if we were even average at defense, we'd be a top four seed right now, and OKC is the proof of that concept: if you're elite on one end of the floor, you can do well as long as you're at least mediocre on the other end. Right now, we're elite on one end, and garbage on the other. We don't need defensive miracles, we just need consistent mediocrity on that end.

    OKC's threats are pretty clear: Russ, PG, Adams.

    Russell Westbrook is a triple double threat, and is in fact currently averaging 22/10/10. Of course, he's Russell Westbrook so he's doing it on 44% from the field and 21% from three, and rather than adding to his team totals, his rebounds generally come at the expense of other players on the roster. The way to defend Russ has always been simple, but that doesn't mean it's easy: he needs to be kept off the defensive glass, where he can get fast breaks with ease, and somebody needs to stay in front of him. Let him shoot threes, he probably won't hit them: you'll settle for a 25 foot stupid jumper, but you can't let him just waltz to the basket on five consecutive plays. He turns the ball over a lot, and he's prone to ball stoppage if the half court defense can get set, so there are ways to exploit him and they aren't exactly rocket science: we just need to execute for once.

    PG is also having a good season, averaging 24/8/4 and leading the league in steals with 2.2 per game. He's shooting 43% from the field and 36% from three, but don't be fooled: he's been extremely hot recently. Unfortunately, he's exactly the position that we don't really have anyone to guard, so we'll be relying on Solo and occasional switches, since Wes Johnson isn't getting minutes right now. That's not exactly a huge vote of confidence, but if Solo can even do a mediocre job, I'll take it.

    Finally it's Steven Adams. He's one of the league's most steady, consistent guys. He's never going to drop 40, he's not going to get 30 rebounds, he won't get 10 blocks, and he won't seek triple doubles, but he will get 15/10 every night, and he will destroy you on the offensive boards if you let him. He's the perfect running mate for Westbrook, since he doesn't need the ball in his hands, plays hard on both ends, and sets brilliant screens. It will be interesting to see who Gentry has guarding him, but whoever it is needs to do their absolute best to keep him off the offensive glass: if we can remove their second chance points, we stand a solid chance.

    OKC are a real threat and a huge challenge, but they are beatable. They just came within two points of losing to Brooklyn, and many of their recent wins have come against extremely subpar teams like Atlanta, Cleveland, and Charlotte. They beat Detroit, but so did we. Their last truly impressive win was against Golden State close to a month ago now, so we really have a chance to get a statement win here if we can just buckle down and play D.

    Let's get it, #DoItBig
    Watching Pelicans games is what Georges Bataille meant by limit experiences.

  2. #2
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!! JJackisangry's Avatar
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    Pelican loving masochists unite

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Re: The music during warmups

    Is Drake the most boring rapper of all time? I think yes.

  5. #5
    Frank saying that the few games in the G League really helped the game slow down a little for him and helped him get back into a rhythm after long gaps in playing and irregular minutes across the last 18 months. Says he thinks his game will translate well to the real games.

    Hope he's right.

  6. #6
    Jrue takes it away from Westbrook early. That's encouraging.

  7. #7
    Early defense looking pretty good. Not great, one breakdown, but a couple of great possessions otherwise.

  8. #8
    No point off the takeover, but AD gets another steal and we get a fastbreak.

    Lots of steals early, they're playing very loose and our guys are taking everything away.

  9. #9
    Looking forward to seeing Frank get some minutes tonight.

  10. #10
    AD splashes the 3, and snags the rebound on the other end leading to Jrue with the and-one!

  11. #11
    Early game, we're up 14-8.

    What's doing it? We have 7 rebounds including 3 offensive boards. They have 3 boards total, none offensive. That's huge playing against the number 1 offensive rebounding team in the league.

  12. #12
    That was not a foul, AD rotated and Westbrook just ran into him. AD played for the ball, and it was not a reach.

  13. #13
    And Westbrook then gets away with the travel and the push off... and gets the foul call in his favour.

    Why does this still surprise me?

  14. #14
    Diallo stays totally vertical, hands up in the air, Adams can't move him so AD gets the steal and they randomly call a foul on... Tim Frazier, who wasn't even in the play. Great officiating.

  15. #15
    AD WITH THE BIG ALLEY OOP!

  16. #16
    These refs SMH ��**♂️

  17. #17
    I love Paul George getting mad when something FINALLY gets called our way, as if he's been personally victimised by the ref crew.

  18. #18
    OKC is looking worst than the Pels with the turnovers.

  19. #19
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!! bahmamamba's Avatar
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    so ad went to the locker room awesome amazing will there be a game he doesn't go to the locker room geezus

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  20. #20
    Get Diallo out of the game now....he’s too clumsy.

  21. #21
    Pistol Pete Would Be Proud!! bahmamamba's Avatar
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    so the refs have put them back in the game with questionable calls what's new for us

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  22. #22
    I honestly think there has to be some system of real review for refs. Some method of addressing grievances that doesn't just get dismissed in a lazy two minute report.

  23. #23
    End of the first quarter, despite playing 8 on 5 all 12 minutes, we're only down 2, 27-25. Defense has been much, much improved so far.

  24. #24
    AD's back on the bench, he looks fine. If I had to guess, he probably felt his ankle tweaked when Adams pushed Diallo into him, and had to get re-taped.

  25. #25
    Jrue draws ANOTHER foul for ANOTHER and-one. Is this bizarro-land?

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