Pelicans Thriving with Players from AD Trade — Jan 11, 2020: NO 123 NY 111

Another Friday Night Knicks at Madison Square Garden; another disappointing loss. Like Clockwork. A Clockwork Orange. This time to the 13-25 New Orleans Pelicans. The Knicks were without leading scorers Marcus Morris (neck injury) and Julius Randle (death in family).

New Orleans Thriving With Players from AD Trade

Brandon Ingram starred for New Orleans — tall and lean and a scoring whirlwind he is becoming the superstar that everyone predicted; although last year at this time Laker Twitter was destroying him for sucking and being a player who would never be any good. He took off the last 3 months of last season; the Lakers gave up a lot for Anthony Davis.

Another player New Orleans got from LA — Lonzo Ball — played well at the point; he had 15 pts on 6-14, 6 rebounds and 11 assists.

Jaxson Hayes came off the bench to kill the Knicks inside — he was very lively — 18 pts (7-8 from the floor), 10 rebounds and a +18 in 29 minutes. Hayes was the #8 pick in last June’s draft whom also came to New Orleans via the Anthony Davis trade — they received him amongst others from Atlanta for #4 pick De’Andre Hunter (who New Orleans got from LA for AD). New Orleans also got 6’5 shooting guard Nickeil Alexander-Walker from Atlanta for Hunter — he came off the bench for 9 pts (3-8 shooting) in 24 minutes. New Orleans ALSO received a top-10 protected 2020 first-round pick of Cleveland’s that the Hawks previously held. That pick turns into a pair of 2021 and 2022 second-rounders if it doesn’t convey in summer 2020. Again, all (indirectly) for Anthony Davis.

New Orleans also got Josh Hart from LA — he started at shooting guard and had 13 points (5-10, 3-7 from 3) and 10 rebounds. And the Pelicans still own the Lakers’ #1 picks for 2021, 2023, and 2024. Plus they got cash. You have to figure the Lakers will be intent on signing Anthony Davis this summer; they offered him an extension 2 days ago and he refused it, saying he will become a free agent in June.

The Game

This game was fairly close throughout but New Orleans gradually gained an 8- to 10-point lead and up’ed it to 15 late in the 4th and it was ballgame. The Knicks seemed to lack intensity on defense, and didn’t have the offensive firepower to keep up in this free-flowing game.

The Knicks got the ball to their big men inside for a lot of slam dunks — Mitchell Robinson had 12 pts on 6-7 shooting and Taj Gibson had 19 pts on 8-8 shooting. On defense however, Robinson did not do a great job on New Orleans’ bigs (see above) and he did not have a blocked shot.

RJ Barrett didn’t shoot so well but had a good overall game — 16 pts on 5-15 (1-4 from 3, 5-8 free throws), 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals.

Everyone else chipped in offensively: Bobby Portis (13 pts on 6-11, 0-2 from), Reggie Bullock (15 pts on 6-11, 2-6 from 3), and Elfrid Payton (15 pts on 7-17, 7 assists, 5 steals).

Frank Ntilikina played well off the bench, and drove to the basket again for some layups.

Knicks’ Knox Knocked

Kevin Knox looked like a rookie again (2-8 shooting for 5 pts). Knicks Twitter shredded him. Analyst Alan Hahn said this of Knox in the 2nd quarter via three back-to-back tweets:

  • Loose first quarter defensively for both teams but that’s what you expect from young teams. This is the type of game Kevin Knox should thrive and get something going”
  • As I say that, Knox remains jogging on his toes, thumbs up and playing soft on defense. The Hayes dunk off the PnR is all because he trails soft off the pick and shows no urgency to recover on the screener. Wondering why he still looks like this.”
  • Coming out of that timeout you see Miller sees what we see. Knox immediately taken out of the lineup. Disconcerting, but he’s not earning the minutes.”

Knox has fallen greatly from the player who looked BIG vs Zion Williamson in that summer league game last July.

A Shell of Trier

Allonzo Trier got time at end of game with the Knicks down 15, and passed first — took 2 shots; finished with a team-high +5 in 6 minutes, but this is a shell of the Allonzo Trier we saw last year. He is playing so within the team concept we don’t get to see any of his magical drives to the basket that put the other team on its heels.


Rumor broke before the game that the Knicks are talking to the Pistons for a trade of Andre Drummond. Speculation was that the Knicks could match Drummond’s salary with Dennis Smith Jr, Bobby Portis, and Wayne Ellington. This might make sense as the Knicks are a small team up front — and on some nights Robinson is too skinny to guard the other team’s monster big man. With a young core laid down (Barrett and Robinson, and possibly others), Drummond would help with the Knicks plan to develop a winning culture as soon as possible under coach Mike Miller — with .500 ball in the second half — to start luring free agents — like Greek Freak Giannis Antetokounmpo next summer, and … Brandon Ingram this June.

The Boxscore


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