Can the New Orleans Pelicans find the personal pride necessary to try tonight? That's a serious question that needs to be asked after another putrid performance in Phoenix. Up next, the altitude and a familiar face, Mike Malone. The Denver Nuggets are on the fringes of actual playoff contention (unlike the Pelicans) and can put themselves right back in the mix for the eighth seed tonight with a victory.
As I mentioned in the preview, the biggest issue is effort. When shots don't fall for this team everything else crumbles. Short bursts of solid defensive activity are ruined by lazy ball watching resulting in easy backdoor cuts for the opponent. Once the deficit grows to be significant this team abandons the offensive game plan to try to do everything individually, hero ball at a mindnumbing scale.
The projected starting lineup has been terrible. I hope Gentry makes a significant change. Maybe it is time to go back to the starting lineup at the beginning of last year; Holiday, Gordon, Evans, Davis, and Asik. Alexis Ajinca is out for the second game in a row with a calf strain. Quincy Pondexter remains out without an estimated date for return.
Somehow the Pelicans remain just 4.5 games out of the playoff picture. They also have the third worst record in the league. Is it time to tank? With the paltry effort demonstrated recently we can ask if the team is tanking already.
|2015-16 NBA Regular Season|
|December 20, 2015, 7:00 PM Central|
|Pepsi Center - Denver, CO|
|Fox Sports New Orleans|
|Charter - 810, Cox - 1038, DirecTV - 676, U-Verse - 1757|
|WRNO 99.5 FM|
|Tyreke Evans||PG||Jameer Nelson|
|Eric Gordon||SG||Gary Harris|
|Alonzo Gee||SF||Danilo Gallinari|
|Anthony Davis||PF||Kenneth Faried|
|Omer Asik||C||Joffrey Lauvergne|
|Advanced Stats (2015-16) via NBA Stats|
|99.20 (10th)||Pace||97.75 (21st)|
|101.4 (18th)||ORtg||99.5 (25th)|
|108.3 (29th)||DRtg||104.3 (23rd)|
|-6.9 (28th)||Net Rating||-4.8 (25th)|
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