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Pelicans at Nuggets GameThread: Which team shows up tonight?

Another embarrassment on the horizon, or a glimpse of hope?

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

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
7-19 (2-13 Away)
11-15 (5-7 Home)
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
Projected Starters
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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