ESPN article on Pelicans tanking. | TigerDroppings.com

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darryljames30
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ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.



quote:

Jrue Holiday is out indefinitely with a stress fracture to his tibia, and a New Orleans Pelicans season that was already in turmoil with the injury to Ryan Anderson seems destined for disaster. The Pelicans are 15-21 and have lost five straight and 11 of their past 15 games, increasingly turning what was supposed to be a playoff march into a funeral procession.

So what is the impact of Holiday's injury and what can (or can't) New Orleans do moving forward to improve? Here's an FAQ to help navigate the Pelicans' predicament.

What's so bad about missing the playoffs this season?

New Orleans owes its 2014 first-round pick to the 76ers as part of the trade that brought Holiday to the Pelicans. With a 2014 draft class that is expected to be deep on game-changing prospects, New Orleans will effectively have lost the "bet" that Philadelphia made on draft day: that the Pelicans, despite their efforts, still aren't one of the top eight teams in the Western Conference.



There is a silver lining: The pick is protected for a top-five selection. The Pelicans are currently three games ahead (or perhaps we should say behind) for the league's fifth-worst record (currently owned by the Celtics, who have lost eight in a row), so they'll have their work cut out for them.

Why did the Pelicans trade such a lucrative draft pick in the first place?

New Orleans has missed the playoffs in three of the previous four seasons, and has been particularly awful the past two, posting a combined record of 48-100. As a result, the new ownership group believed the team needed to take the step forward from "rebuilding" to "playoff contention." At the same time, budding superstar forward/center Anthony Davis needed a high-caliber playmaker to get him more involved in the offense and further aid his development. Enter Holiday, an All-Star for Philadelphia last season at the tender age of 23, a young point guard who plays both ends of the floor.



Anthony Davis
Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY SportsThe trade for Jrue Holiday was made in part to help out franchise cornerstone Anthony Davis.


To some extent, the deal was working before his injury: Holiday excelled individually, posting 14.3 points and 7.9 assists per game while shooting 39 percent from 3-point range. More importantly, lineups featuring the triumvirate of Holiday, Davis and Anderson were outscoring opponents by almost eight points per 100 possessions. However, due to the various injuries, those three have appeared in only 15 games together. Plus, let's not forget about missed time by other key contributors like Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans. Without a full complement of players, the Pelicans simply aren't good enough to keep up in a hypercompetitive Western Conference.

What options are available?

If you're a "glass half full" kind of person, you can point to Evans and Gordon, the other high-priced guards in New Orleans' backcourt, as players who can step in and fill the shoes of Holiday. Evans has the second-highest assist rate on the team at 27 percent, and plays better with the ball in his hands as a primary playmaker, while Gordon is scoring 16 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting from 3-point range. You can try to make a move for a stretch big via trade to replace Anderson, and hope that either he or Holiday can make it back in time for a playoff push toward the end of the season.

If you're a "glass half empty" kind of person, Holiday's injury is similar to the one suffered last year by Steve Nash, which lingered for most of the season. Anderson might miss the rest of the season due to his herniated disc, and stretch bigs are hard to come by on the market. Moreover, Evans and Gordon can't provide the type of playmaking that Holiday brought to the table. The current eighth seed in the West, Dallas, is six games above .500, something New Orleans hasn't come close to achieving this season. At six games back of the eighth playoff seed, the Pelicans are closer to the fifth-worst record than they are to a playoff berth.

How could they possibly view this situation from a glass-half-full perspective?

As I wrote prior to the start of the season, Pelicans management is under pressure to justify the immense expenditure that has been put into this team the past two seasons. More damning than a team falling apart due to injury is the fact that, when healthy, odds were still against the Pelicans making the playoffs. The same can be said for coach Monty Williams, whose preferred coaching style and pace is incongruent with the talent on the roster (when healthy).

This is a common phenomenon in the NBA, where teams will make decisions (either big-picture, strategic ones or day-to-day moves) that serve the purpose of securing employment of the decider rather than the best interest of the organization. One could argue that this is what drove Cleveland general manager Chris Grant to trade away three picks for an impending free agent in Luol Deng, who will demand upward of $12 million a year in any new deal. It was a bad deal organizationally, but Grant needs his team to win now.

Let's not assume that's the case, so...

How do the Pelicans tank?

Play Davis less:




Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesWould giving Austin Rivers more playing time help the Pelicans secure a better draft pick?


New Orleans already has a built-in excuse with the injuries to Holiday and Anderson. The first step is to gradually decrease Davis' minutes; as the most vital player on the team, you want him out there less. He's already had his own injury woes throughout his brief career, so any additional injury should be treated with the utmost caution.

Play Davis in oddball lineups:

When he does play, you could insert him into lineups that might be unfavorable, thus lessening his impact. Examples of this might be playing him with a non-spacing big like Jeff Withey or Greg Stiemsma, experimenting with him at the small forward position and playing him with tunnel-vision guards like Austin Rivers.

Play Rivers:

In fact, playing Rivers in general is probably a good idea, if the Pelicans want to tank. He's struggled to score efficiently (47 percent true-shooting mark), and although he's getting to the free throw line more frequently, the second-year guard's impact is minus-5 points per 100 possessions. Using this opportunity to give Rivers "more developmental minutes on the floor" (particularly at point guard) gives New Orleans a legitimate reason to play an underperformer.

Trade other assets:

The Pelicans also are rumored to be shopping Gordon, but the interest is expected to be limited for a combo guard with a history of knee injuries and a massive contract (three years, $44.7 million remaining). Rather, New Orleans could do better by pawning off replaceable assets who might have a positive impact, such as big man Stiemsma, shooter Anthony Morrow or glue guy Darius Miller.


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quail man
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
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Member since May 2010
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re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


quote:

How do the Pelicans tank?

Play Davis less:



yeah, let's just not ever allow our star player to develop.






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chesty
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re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


Tank city





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CecilShortsHisPants
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
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Member since Oct 2012
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re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


Nice article. I agree with most of it.
quote:

New Orleans will effectively have lost the "bet" that Philadelphia made on draft day

quote:

How do the Pelicans tank?

Play Davis less:
Play Rivers:


All sad, but true. We're in a very shitty situation, and need that pick badly next year.






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Gtothemoney
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re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


Well now I'm totally deflated. 2 and 1/2 months into the season and it's over already. Son of a bitch!





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Suntiger
USA Fan
BR or somewhere else
Member since Feb 2007
21374 posts

re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


quote:

How do the Pelicans tank?

Play Davis less:




Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesWould giving Austin Rivers more playing time help the Pelicans secure a better draft pick?



At first I
Then I






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Jwho77
LSU Fan
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Member since Sep 2003
9321 posts

re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.








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CecilShortsHisPants
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Baton Rouge, LA
Member since Oct 2012
1470 posts

re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


quote:

yeah, let's just not ever allow our star player to develop.


Let AD work on his mid-range game. He's prone to injury when banging down low with the big boys.






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TigerinATL
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Member since Feb 2005
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re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


quote:

When he does play, you could insert him into lineups that might be unfavorable, thus lessening his impact


Is he serious? What kind of message are you sending the franchise player when you set him up to fail? Davis isn't ready to carry this team to victory on his own anyway. He needs to at least get Evans back.

quote:

or glue guy Darius Miller.


Another stupid idea. One of the things this team has been searching for is a reliable 3 and D wing. Why on earth would you trade someone who could become what you've been looking for? It's not like Miller has much trade value.



This post was edited on 1/13 at 2:50 pm


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NawlinsTiger9
New Orleans Saints Fan
Where the mongooses roam
Member since Jan 2009
13007 posts

re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


quote:

In fact, playing Rivers in general is probably a good idea, if the Pelicans want to tank.



Ouch.






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nicholastiger
LSU Fan
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Member since Jan 2004
6738 posts

re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


Dumbasses, the Pelicans were not a playoff team in the loaded west. Put them in the east and they might be a 3 seed





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Rev1897
LSU Fan
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Member since Dec 2008
596 posts

re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


tank city trick tank tank city trick






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Hammond Tiger Fan
Arizona State Fan
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Member since Oct 2007
12613 posts

re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


quote:

the Pelicans were not a playoff team in the loaded west. Put them in the east and they might be a 3 seed


They aren't a 3 seed in the East either. Even before all the injuries this team struggled to be a .500 team.

At this point, they should tank to ensure they get that 1st round pick. They will really need it. If they don't find a way to get that pick it will be a long disappointing season next year too.



This post was edited on 1/13 at 3:49 pm


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eyeran
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since Dec 2007
17382 posts

re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


quote:

How do the Pelicans tank?

Play Davis less:




Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesWould giving Austin Rivers more playing time help the Pelicans secure a better draft pick?


New Orleans already has a built-in excuse with the injuries to Holiday and Anderson. The first step is to gradually decrease Davis' minutes; as the most vital player on the team, you want him out there less. He's already had his own injury woes throughout his brief career, so any additional injury should be treated with the utmost caution.

Play Davis in oddball lineups:

When he does play, you could insert him into lineups that might be unfavorable, thus lessening his impact. Examples of this might be playing him with a non-spacing big like Jeff Withey or Greg Stiemsma, experimenting with him at the small forward position and playing him with tunnel-vision guards like Austin Rivers.
Possibly the dumbest idea of all time. Totally frick your 20 year old franchise player. Swell idea.

If we're THAT committed to tanking, we'd be much better off just sitting Davis than playing him and intentionally sabotaging him. It gets dumber every time I think about it...






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TigerinATL
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
Member since Feb 2005
34432 posts
 Online 

re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


quote:

They aren't a 3 seed in the East either. Even before all the injuries this team struggled to be a .500 team.



Perhaps you're unaware of just how bad the East is this year. Current #3 seed are the 20-18 Atlanta Hawks with a .526 winning percentage. Give the Pelicans a healthy roster and more games vs. the East and they are definitely in the mix for the #3 seed.






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TotesMcGotes
Virginia Fan
New York, New York
Member since Mar 2009
14999 posts

re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


Playing him at the three was my favorite part.

And next he'll suggest that Milwaukee play Giannis Antetokounmpo at the 5.






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Unknown_Poster
Member since Jun 2013
2790 posts

re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


The East is fricking terrible. No way the Pelicans finish any worse than eighth or ninth from last. Just play the rest of the season however… things will sort themselves out via trades and free agency.


This post was edited on 1/13 at 4:31 pm


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Galactic Inquisitor
LSU Fan
An Incredibly Distant Star
Member since Dec 2013
4635 posts

re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


quote:

Just play the rest of the season however… things will sort themselves out via trades and free agency.


Agreed.






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Jwho77
LSU Fan
NOLA
Member since Sep 2003
9321 posts

re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


quote:

The East is fricking terrible. No way the Pelicans finish any worse than eighth or ninth from last. Just play the rest of the season however… things will sort themselves out via trades and free agency.



But the East will predominantly be playing the East while the Pels will play mostly West teams.






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Unknown_Poster
Member since Jun 2013
2790 posts

re: ESPN article on Pelicans tanking.


Still don't see it happening. And once you get past the first half dozen or so teams record-wise the percentages of winning a top three pick are negligible. 7th place is like 4% then it drops to 2% then 1% and lower.





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