As I sit here writing this preview for tonight’s game in Milwaukee I keep thinking about how The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again” fits the Pelicans quest for their win of the 2016-17 season. As much change as there was this week one aspect of New Orleans has remained constant: they’re butt.
So sure, I guess I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution, take a bow for the new revolution, smile and grin at the change all around, pick up my guitar and play just like yesterday. Then I’ll get on my knees and pray that I won’t get fooled again into thinking the Pelicans are capable of being as bad as they’ve been.
The Pelicans, if you remember, played the Bucks close November 1 in the Smoothie King Center, a 117-113 nail-biter of a loss. New Orleans used a +11 scoring advantage to tie the game heading into the fourth quarter, but the Milwaukee combination of Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo cancelled out Anthony Davis’ excellence. The Greek Freak flirted with a triple-double, posting a 24-point 9-rebound 7-assist line and Parker chipped in 21 on a 7-14 shooting night and converted all seven of his free throw attempts.
Anthony Davis had a typical Anthony Davis game: 35 points, 15 rebounds and got to the free throw line 18 times and hit on 17 of them. Ho hum. But that Tuesday night in the Smoothie King Center, Davis had ample help from his starting teammates: Tim Frazier had 20 points, Solomon Hill (see we can be nice to Solo) had 18 and E’Twuan Moore was the third-leading scorer for New Orleans with 17 points. All told, the starting five for New Orleans accounted for 94 of their 113 points. The bench didn’t carry their weight and that proved to be costly.
The five Pelicans that came off the bench in the first matchup combined to score 19 points and 10 were by Buddy Hield. So four guys combined to score five points which doesn’t sound, what’s the word, “optimal.” Compare that to the Bucks bench combining for 45 points with 14 coming from Malcolm Brogdon and 12 coming from Michael Beasley who’s a first-team “He’s still in the league?” player. Speaking of he’s still in the league players: Jason Terry! Still in the league!
I can’t get a feel for this game. I think they can win this one, but I thought they could beat the Kings, Suns, Grizzlies, Nuggets and Milwaukee the first time so what do I know. The Pelicans keep getting closer like that Chainsmokers song except instead of “we ain’t ever getting older” it’s more like “we ain’t ever getting wins” amirite.
But really, what is it going to take for this team to get a W? A demigod performance from Davis and nothing from teammates? That’s happened. A good Davis performance and some solid backup from other Pelican players? We’ve seen that, too and it didn’t translate into a win.
Whatever it is they need to do, they need to figure it out fast, or we’ll be singing the same old song again tomorrow night. And no pressure or anything but a loss tonight would set a franchise record for worst start in team history.