Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Allen, Mavericks, Nielsen

Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy believes his team is too dependent on its offense, Jim Eichenhofer writes for NBA.com. New Orleans dropped a 117-114 game to the Spurs on Saturday, allowing San Antonio to shoot 48% from the field and 37.5% from three-point range.

“That’s the problem, when you have to shoot the ball well to win,” Van Gundy said. “That’s going to be a problem. Guys are going to have bad nights shooting the ball. You’ve got to be able to win games where you don’t shoot well, and right now we can’t. We’re totally dependent on our offense to win games, and that’s not going to take you very far.”

The Pelicans own the second-worst defensive rating in the league at 116.1, trailing only the Kings. The team owns a 14-19 record largely because of its lackluster defense and has lost seven of its last 10 games.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Grizzlies guard Grayson Allen has entered the league’s concussion protocol, Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal writes. Allen suffered the injury during the team’s game against the Clippers on Friday. The 25-year-old has averaged 9.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game this season, starting in eight of the club’s last nine games.
  • The Mavericks‘ 2018 draft class has never looked better, Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News writes. Luka Doncic (pick No. 3) and Jalen Brunson (No. 33) have gradually improved since entering the league almost three years ago. “He’s a great player,” Doncic said of Brunson. “It’s easy to have chemistry like that.”
  • Austin Spurs coach Matt Nielsen is bringing out the best of his team this season, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News writes. Nielsen has coached the club to a 8-4 record thus far in the G League bubble. “I love him as a coach,” Spurs guard Tre Jones said of Nielsen. “As a person, he is a really good guy, easy to get along with and talk to on a day-to-day basis. As a coach, he is super encouraging…He is always on our side.” 
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25 thoughts on “Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Allen, Mavericks, Nielsen

  1. Jimmy Fitzsimmons

    I’m just here for Marty after that beatdown the Warriors took from the Lakers

    • buttholesurfer69

      Haha, it seems like Marty shows up once every 3 weeks leaves 27 incendiary comments on the same thread then stops replying.

      In a way, I respect that about him.

  2. johnnybadd2019

    I love Dwight Howard’s nickname and impersonation of SVG calling him the Master of Panic

  3. Jason Lancaster

    Van Gundy is ancient. Pelicans are 20th in pace (possessions per 48), 22nd in 3pt attempt rate, and #1 in offensive rebounding rate (which almost certainly means they’re one of the worst in transition scoring).

    Van Gundy says “wE nEeD moAr deFenSE!” But a basic understanding of analytics says the Pelicans need to take more threes and attack more in transition when the points are easier to get. To say nothing of the fact that they have a great transition PG in a contract year who they can’t wait to get rid of.

    Finally, they’re actually quite good in effective FG%, suggesting they actually shoot quite well. And they have a top 10 offense despite the coaching staff.

    The man is a dinosaur.

    • mlbnyyfan

      2018 draft was great for Knicks too especially since the Mavs were one of the teams who passed on Mitchell Robinson. I guarantee Luka wishes he had Mitchell instead of Brunson.

      • Courtside

        They average the same points per game. Robinson gets more rebounds and Brunson assist

        I say it’s about even, but Brunson can bring up the ball and give Luka rest. He was the right pick for that team.

      • david-45

        Mitchell doesnt spread the floor. Brunson has been better than mitchell this season

    • myaccount

      They’re 14th in transition defense actually, so right in the middle of the pack. I’d say his comments are pretty accurate then. They need to be better in half court sets defensively.

    • buttholesurfer69

      Yup SVG also thought a lineup of Bledsoe, Zion, and Adams was a good idea.

      I’ll be the first to admit the analytics can’t tell you everything but again and again the league has shown that the people who dismiss them outright tend to lose more than win.

      • Jason Lancaster

        Absolutely. Analytics don’t tell you how to win, but they show you exactly why you’re losing.

  4. nentwigs

    “Pelicans head coach Stan Van Gundy believes his team is too” offensive.
    Both the clubhouse manager and the team trainer have encouraged the players to use deodorant !!

  5. phillyballers

    So the team is too offensive? Why not trade for Dort? I’m sure they’ll be able to pick up some extra assets to facilitate a trade. Bledsoe, Redick, Ball, and Hernangomez all should be available.

    Target Dort, and tank for Cade.

            • DeathbyDeathwest

              Yeah, and Giannis’ name was floated endlessly last year, too.

              If Dort gets traded, it’s going to be at a steep price. He’s part of the future in OKC – he’s only $5.5mil for four years.

            • Ironmonger835

              Yeah he’s in fake trade rumors made up by dumb ass bloggers. He’s one of the best wing defenders in the league and he can score 12ppg. He’s also 21 and under contract until 2023. He’s not getting moved. These nerds need to realize this ain’t 2K.

  6. DeathbyDeathwest

    See, this is the type of comment from SVG that drives me up a wall.

    Like when John Madden used to opine that “the team that scores the most points wins!”

    With that level of insight, maybe Mark Jackson can still get into the coaching game.

    • buttholesurfer69

      I think he and JVG probably both could if they want. I think they’re both smart enough to cash the easy checks tho. ABC Prime Time is harder to get than a Sacramento HC job

    • x%sure

      Madden got better every year… Aikman is a poor replacement. I wish they put Madden in charge of ref-call replays.

  7. I never like it when a HC makes statements like this to the media. It can have several purposes, none of which reflect favorably on the job he’s doing.

    In SVG’s case, it’s simple, if he wants to spend his time commenting on the Pels’ defense, then he should have stayed in the media. He should consider that he wasn’t hired to come up with ways that Ingram and Zion can score more efficiently. Plus, this team is not condemned by its roster to be a horrible defensive team. At least 3 of the Pels starters came into this season with reputations as good (or better) defenders. They have at least one young bench piece that should be impactful on that end. Yes, they have young guys who don’t defend much, but so do some other teams. Coach better.

  8. KnickerbockerAl

    You have to wonder about SVG. Since he is suppose to be a D coach. And his team is one of worst in L in D. Either he ain’t coaching it or they aint listening. You now easiest way to fix team D. Get a rim protector. Why is Adams there.

    • buttholesurfer69

      Well to me they can’t play Bledsoe, Zion, and Adams together. But Zion is at point they could play Adams and not lose a ton of spacing.

      Could see a Zion, Hart, Ingram, Ball, Adams lineup being a decent lineup. Not sure how much they’ve used it this year but could be a decent two way option.

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