Archives For New Orleans Pelicans

After three and a half tightly contested quarters in which neither the Hawks nor the short-handed Pelicans were able to pull away, Mike Muscala assisted Paul Millsap on a cutting layup that began a 6-0 run for Atlanta. Alvin Gentry called a timeout for New Orleans after Jeff Teague’s driving floater with 5:10 left to play. But the 93-85 cushion was enough for the Hawks to withstand Eric Gordon’s heroics as they improved to 8-2 with the 106-98 victory at Philips Arena.

Atlanta got off to a slow start, something that has been an unsettling trend in this young season. The injury-plagued Pelicans (who have already been without Norris Cole, Tyreke Evans, and Quincy Pondexter all season) entered tonight’s game without Anthony Davis after he bruised his hip the night before against Dallas. They were still able to outplay the Hawks for most of the half. There were eight lead changes and seven ties in the first quarter and New Orleans went up 26-24 on a goal-tending call against Thabo Sefolosha (Ish Smith was credited with the basket). Atlanta wouldn’t take the lead again until midway through the third quarter.

The Pelicans’ 56-47 advantage at halftime was largely due to outstanding shooting from behind the arc. Three of their starters were 2-for-3 (Luke Babbitt, Gordon and Smith; Ryan Anderson made two of his four attempts) and the team as a whole shot 61% (11-for-18). Al Horford kept the Hawks in the game with 20 first-half points and Millsap had 9 rebounds during that span. Coach Bud made a point of addressing his team’s inability to match the Pelicans’ early intensity during his postgame press conference:

A lot of credit [goes] to New Orleans coming in on a back-to-back without Anthony Davis and all the injuries they’re dealing with. They had us definitely on our heels. I think we’ve got to play a lot better coming out to start games and not put ourselves in that kind of hole.

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It was fun while it lasted, but the Hawks’ 19-game winning streak finally came to an end on Monday night as the New Orleans Pelicans were able to defeat Atlanta by a score of 115-100.

Anthony Davis was the controlling force for New Orleans, constantly grabbing offensive rebounds and putting them back for easy 2s. Davis scored 29 points, grabbed 13 rebounds (eight offensive), and was his usual fantastic self on defense. One memorable play involved Jeff Teague in an isolation where he tried to crossover Davis and stepback for a 3-pointer… but Davis stayed in position and used his length to block the shot anyways.

Davis was not alone, as he got some great help from Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon. Gordon was a thorn in the Hawks’ side all night, hitting a bevvy of open jumpers as Evans was continuously getting the Hawks’ offense to collapse. Evans had a double-double with 15 points and 12 assists and Gordon finished the night with 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field.

Hawks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer has been often preaching that one of the biggest driving forces behind this streak from the Hawks is that they kept playing “Hawks basketball.” They moved with and without the ball on offense, flied around on defense, and maintained a composure where they always exuded the confidence of being the better team. Continue Reading…

The league’s best player so far this season — Anthony Davis — arrived in Atlanta with his Pelicans on Friday night and he left with a 100-91 defeat to the Jeff Teague-led Atlanta Hawks.

Teague’s hot night started off early, where he scored eight points in the first seven minutes of the game on a mix of floaters and layups. His magnificent play continued throughout the game, as Teague was weaving and scheming off of a bevy of screens, resulting in a 26-point, seven-assist night for the Atlanta point guard.

After giving up 126 points to the Raptors on Wednesday, the Hawks’ defense locked down on Friday, allowing just 28 points in the first half. Part of that was the Pelicans employing Austin Rivers as a starter, but Atlanta’s big men did a great job at contesting shots at the rim and the guards were fighting hard through screens to prevent New Orleans from getting open looks on the perimeter.

The Hawks were only 5-for-17 (29.4%) on 3s for the night, but an important make came late in the fourth quarter from DeMarre Carroll. With the shot clock winding down after a Davis block on Al Horford, Paul Millsap kicked the ball out to Carroll in the corner, who promptly sank a contested 3-pointer to push the Hawks’ lead back to 10 points. Continue Reading…

The Hawks had a good solid bounce back after their 14 losses in 15 game stretch, but their winning streak ended at five games on Friday night after Anthony Davis and the Pelicans swooped into town and scooped up a victory.

Davis was an absolute monster, putting on a magnificent showing with his all-around game including highlight dunks, and believe it or not, highlight mid-range jumpers. Davis was not afraid to delve into extreme difficultly on his shots, converting a couple of plays were he was fouled (one didn’t count) and another fade-away that started off from behind the backboard. The scary part? Davis commented after the game that he still felt “under the weather” and that he wasn’t 100% after missing the Pelicans’ last game against the Raptors. Davis finished the night with 34 points, 11 rebounds, and one very emphatic block on a DeMarre Carroll shot attempt.

For the Hawks, they were missing Kyle Korver, who was scratched right before the game due to a flare up of back spasms during his pre-game shooting routine. His absence really showed how well prepared New Orleans was for the Hawks’ three-point attack, as Atlanta went just 8-for-28 (28.6%) from behind the arc in this game. Credit to New Orleans coach Monty Williams, who after the game praised Korver as the “best to ever do it” in terms of shooting. He also praised the overall talent that the Hawks have from deep, expressing great difficulty in trying to guard the three-pointer when all five starters can extend their games out that far. Shelvin Mack started in place of Korver and he had a decent offensive showing with 18 points and four three-pointers, which were half of the Hawks’ makes from three-point land. Continue Reading…

Korver Out with Back Spasms

Bo Churney —  March 21, 2014

Kyle Korver will miss tonight’s game against the Pelicans with back spasms.

It is not known when Korver starting experiencing the injury, but he stopped his pre-game warm up routine when he appeared to have stiffness in his lower back. Korver limited his warmups to just set shots before leaving the court about 10 minutes into his normal routine.

Korver will be missed as he is the league’s leading three-pointer shooter at 48.6%. Shelvin Mack will start in Korver’s place. It will be the seventh start for Mack this season, who is in his third pro season out of Butler. Mack is averaging seven points and three assists on the season.

Korver’s status for Sunday’s 1:00PM game against the Raptors in Toronto is unknown and will be updated as soon as that information is released.

2012-13 Record: 27-55 (14th in West)z-pelicans

Playoff Result: N/A

Key Additions: Jrue Holiday (trade), Tyreke Evans (sign and trade), Anthony Morrow (free agent), Jeff Withey (trade)

Key Losses: Robin Lopez (trade), Greivis Vazquez (trade)

Predicted 2013-14 Record: 35-47 (10th in West)*

What to Expect: There comes a time where a team that has their franchise number one pick on the roster decides to finally build around them. With the Pelicans, the process seems to come sooner than later with how they built around Anthony Davis going into 2013-14. They acquired an All-Star in Jrue Holiday and former Rookie of the Year winner Tyreke Evans to tackle the perimeter minutes around the University of Kentucky big man. By paying such large amounts for both – along with the max contract they have in Eric Gordon – they look to not be a bottom feeder in their inaugural season under their new nickname.

Will these moves be worth it, is a much different question. The Cavs tried a very similar set of moves with Larry Hughes and Damon Jones for LeBron in 2005, and the Magic brought in a crew of characters such as Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter to help Dwight. Neither team were able to convince their stars to stay, as the cast they brought in seemed insufficient. It seems like such a far day away, but wondering what will make this experience different in New Orleans. Continue Reading…