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Pelicans enter All-Star Break with microscopic playoff hopes

Are we ready to talk about the draft? We should probably talk about the draft.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Last season, the New Orleans Pelicans entered the All-Star Break on a three game losing streak and yet just a game and a half behind the Phoenix Suns for the eighth and final playoff spot. An imminent return for Jrue Holiday was on the horizon along with a trade for Norris Cole to bolster the back court. Holiday's return would be delayed until April, thanks to a set back, but Cole would play well above his head (including the flat top), and the Pelicans would find their way into the playoffs thanks in part to this amazing Anthony Davis buzzer beater.

Yes, I'm going to post it again.

This season has not been so lucky. Last night the Oklahoma City Thunder obliterated the Pelicans on national television in a 121-95 rout. New Orleans is 12th in the Western Conference and six and a half games behind the Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz. It is far more entertaining to visit Tankathon and consider how close our Pelicans are to securing Ben Simmons than it is to look at the standings. Just glance, then look away.

Standings - 2/12/16

via ESPN

That massive gulf means few projections give Alvin Gentry and company much of a shot at making the postseason. Microscopic is not hyperbole in the headline, sadly.

Proj W Proj L Playoff % Draft Position
ESPN BPI 34 48 1.5% T-6th
Basketball Reference 33.1 48.9 1.1% 6th
Five Thirty Eight 34 48 5% 7th
numberFire 33.4 48.6 1.4% 6th

Odds are greater that Ben Simmons lands in a Pelicans uniform than we see Anthony Davis in the playoffs in April. The sooner the folks working at Airline Drive accept that reality and make the proper decisions, the better. Just seven days remain until the NBA Trade Deadline. Work those phones and build this roster with the right target date in mind.