The Pelican Blog

Postgame report: From the Pelicans locker room

Pelicans Head Coach Monty Williams
On the game
“Give them [Miami HEAT] credit. They came out in the third quarter and turned up their pressure. They had 64 points in the second half. That’s not good defense. They made a lot of tough shots, but our guys as a whole have to grow up; and understand that when you have a half [second half] like that against a team, they’re going to come out and turn up their pressure. I thought that we took way too many jump shots in the third quarter. All we did in the first half was attack the basket first, and then kicked it open for jump shots. It’s just another game that we felt like we had control of. Playing against an elite team and not understanding where you are, we just didn’t capitalize on it. If you would’ve watched their bench in the first half, they were frustrated. I don’t think that our guys understand the game within the game. We have to keep working at it. We got to stop feeling sorry for ourselves when things don’t go well for us in the third quarter. We just got to get over that hump of not allowing what we think is a bad call or another team making shots, take us out of our game plan. I thought our game plan was sound. We were attacking the basket in the first half and getting anything that we wanted. The foul on [Chris] Bosh [at the end of the first half], that’s a silly foul. You can’t do that before halftime. We’re going into the half with a nine point lead; maybe it’s a different game. You’re playing against guys who have won championships; but at the same time, there’s a part of all of us where we all have to grow up. That goes for the players and coaches. No more than me. I’m the guy that has to get the guys in the game to do the job. You’re up by nine; does that mean that you’re over experienced? You just have to come out and get more. You still have to play the game. When we start to deviate from the game plan, we start casting up early jump shots in the shot clock. That part probably bothers me more than anything because we’ve shown that in the first half a formula to win the game; [the formula of] if we play hard, attack the basket and defend.”

On the road trip and coming home:
“Yeah it’s going to be nice to get back home. We’ve had a really tough trip from a logistical standpoint; but when the ball’s thrown up, it’s still basketball. We have to really enjoy it and not get caught up in those moments; [moments like] okay here’s another elite team coming back on us, what do we do? We just have to grow up in that regard.”

On Jrue Holiday:
“Well, guys are going to have rough games. He’s playing the same way when he had 31 [points] and 13 [assists] against Portland. I think he’s got to be more assertive and go after it a little more on offense. The thing that sets Jrue [Holiday] apart is his defense. He’s got to do a better job of running our team on the defensive end. This is part of the NBA. He’s just having a rough stretch. He’ll break out of it.”

On Anthony Davis:
“Just from the feel of the game, they probably had more focus on him in the second half. In the first half, he was getting anything that he wanted; but it started with our defense. We were defending and giving them only one shot. He was our running and we were attacking the basket.”

Pelicans Guard Jrue Holiday
On the difference between the first and second half:
“I think defensively they kind of hugged up on our guards, especially when they started scoring. I think sometimes at points in the game, especially the first five minutes of the game, we have to stick with what we are doing in the first half, which is loading up, relying upon each other and not hugging up on each other.”

On the game:
“We know we have it. We just need to put it together for 48 minutes.It’s going to be nice to be home with the home crowd. In the first half we played well. We stuck to the assignment and in the second half I think we kind of got away from it.”

Pelicans Forward Anthony Davis
On the game:
We just have to do a better job of competing with the elite teams. We came into that first half attacking.”

“When we get down, we kind of get down on ourselves. We can’t do that. We have to continue to fight. We lost some of that fight when they kind of took the lead. The momentum changed and we didn’t remember our defensive assignments or whatever. We just didn’t have it . . . that focus. They hit tough shots and there’s nothing you can do about it.”

“We come out with that intensity and that effort that we need to take the lead. In the second half we started shooting a lot of jumpers. They started attacking the basket, and-ones, missing defensive assignments. It’s tough and when you do that against any team, especially on the road, they start making shots and the momentum switches. They just never looked back.”

On his start to the game:
“I was playing basketball and being aggressive as the team needs me to do. I wasn’t holding anything back. I was just going out there and playing. I had a lot of open looks and knocked them down.”